Celebrating freedom

The word freedom is one of those words that seems very easy to define, until someone asks you to define it. This being the week of July 4th, I’ve done some looking around and have come up with a few observations about what freedom means to me.

Freedom is a woman’s right to choose, and to keep that choice between herself and her doctor, and not in the hands of predominately male politicians throughout the country.

Freedom is the right of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to share in the same wedded bliss as heterosexuals with all of the same legally guaranteed rights and privileges.

Freedom is keeping with the Establishment Clause of the constitution that states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” protecting freedom from, as well as freedom of, religion.

Freedom is being able to legally partake in a substance like marijuana that grows naturally and is exponentially less harmful or potentially deadly than the legal substances alcohol and tobacco, that could also be a boon to our still slow-growing economy.

And lastly, freedom is finding a more efficient way to “bring me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses,” not building 700 miles of more fence and launching predator drones while looking to deport 11 million people and their children on principle.

So, when you think about freedom during this time of year when Americans celebrate our independence, ask yourself this two part question: How much do I love freedom, and how willing am I to show it?

Eric Engle