Liberty and Justice For All

Posted on December 10, 2015 in Justice

Liberty: Free will.

Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. Freedom from external or foreign rule. Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions. Power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, according to choice. Freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint. Self mastery, freedom from inner compulsions, weakness, fear.

Justice: Rightness.

Making right what is wrong. Restoring what has been lost. Fairness, impartiality. Fair distribution of benefits and burdens. Discipline in proportion to offense.

I’m blessed to live in a country where these values are affirmed. When we pledge allegiance to our flag and our Republic, we proclaim we are one nation under God and we affirm liberty and justice are for all people.

I dug into the history of the Pledge of Allegiance a bit this morning. It was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a thirty-seven year old Baptist minister. The Pledge was written as part of a national patriotic school program.

Some of the sources I found said Bellamy was a socialist. Others made no mention of his politics.

The America of that day was less than thirty years removed from the Civil War. An article published online in September 2015 referenced a book by Richard J. Ellis entitled To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance. Ellis writes that the original Pledge reflected two fears held by “native-born Americans” during that time: fear of new immigrants and complacency about dangers facing the country.

Sound familiar?

President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add “One nation, under God” to the Pledge in 1954, as a response to the threat of Soviet communism. Eisenhower said this would “reaffirm the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future” and “strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

The road we travel today, we’ve traveled before. It seems to me our nation’s leaders are not building on the lessons of the past to navigate our present. We must be free from fear in order to have personal and national freedom.

God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. He supplies us with spiritual weapons that are mighty to pull down strongholds.

Can you imagine our president, or any freedom-loving world leader, talking about spiritual weapons today?