The cost of freedom is pricey. Consider the 6603 American lives lost on D-Day. So many lives were lost to establish a beachhead to enable a final push into Nazi Germany. The soldiers faced fear and death in order to stop the slaughter of innocents and free thousands held in prisoner of war camps that shot, hung, gassed or cremated thousands each day. These thousands of lives lost in just a few days were a small part of the 400,000 to 450,000 American lives lost over the course of the Second World War. Freedom is pricey!
In an effort to prevent another 911 the number of American lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraqi thus far number 5684 which does not include those wounded physically and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD often leads to the breakup of families, the inability to keep a job and the self-respect it engenders and not infrequently to suicide. The cost of freedom is always pricey.
Jesus died to set humans free from desires such as greed, pride, power and money that lead to oppression, exploitation and war. He said that no one took His life, but He laid it down by His own choice. Freedom is pricey, even for the Son of God.
Americans celebrate the freedom enjoyed in the United States of America this weekend. It is this nations birthday. Civilians and soldiers alike sacrificed their lives and livelihood to make American freedom a reality. Hundreds of thousands since have continued to pay it forward. We will be remiss if we do not join our progenitors and acknowledge that this freedom begins and ends with belief in the Christian God and the practice of the way of life He sent His Son Jesus Christ to teach.
John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States, said “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” He later added “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In the Supreme Court’s 1892 Holy Trinity Church v. United States decision Justice David Brewer wrote “this is a Christian nation.” This was not personal opinion, but formed the basis for the decision. In PUBLIC CITIZEN v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 491 U.S. 440 (1989), Justice Kennedy, with whom the Chief Justice and Justice O’Connor join, concurred in the judgment acknowledging this view as correct.
America is home to people of many faiths and systems of belief. Christianity and Christians are not alone in remembering and celebrating the freedom we have received. All, however, can recognize past facts and celebrate the historic freedom the past has brought. We must never forget that freedom is not free. It is pricey! Pay it forward.