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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; What Price This Liberty?

Updated on April 19, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Freedom Rings

Who's Liberty

There are all kinds of liberty and all kinds of ways to lose liberty. Is “to be free from” liberty or is “to be free to” liberty. I suppose those end up the same kind of liberty. Is “free will” liberty? Is marriage actually liberating. Personally I am at liberty to speak on these matters. Are you at liberty to read them? Are you at liberty from your internal resistance? How about outside pressures.

Is choice liberty. Liberty for sailors. Take the liberty. Land of liberty. Is obeying the law liberty or is paying taxes. Is fidelity liberty. Is losing a job liberty, how about divorce?

To do what I want when I want including going or not going someplace. Are liberty and obligations mutually exclusive? Responsibility? Children. Defense. Offense.

Seldom refers to laws – normally it is social norms.

It would seem that liberty has some strange off shoots. Liberalism would mean less interference from government but it means the opposite in practice. Some freed slaves got to go back home to Africa. They called the land Liberia – in English not in a native tongue. That makes no sense except that maybe they still were not free from the yolk. Now libertarian makes sense. They want a controlled chaos. Then again if that were the case who would really be at liberty.

The question seems to be begged; “Is being able to do whatever you want freedom and liberty?” Certainly not. What about conservatism and conservation. Certainly not the opposites of liberalism and liberation. To conserve is to take care of what is. And we need to conserve our liberties just as we must our earth. (yes politics really destroys the meanings of these words)

The apparent conclusion to all of this above mish mash is that liberty is being able to exercise our own free will. And we are responsible not to screw up our own liberty, which means we must follow some rules in order to maintain freedom.

Indicators are that most people followed voluntary compliance with social distancing and stay at home and quarantine and masks and the like. Now that is liberty in the exercise of free will. Then they made them laws under penalty. That is not liberty to do what is right. But we still had the liberty to disobey.

Some definitions of liberty make this point; Liberty is the freedom to do what you want without interference. Which brings us to what you want in the exercise of free will.

At Liberty to Love Nature

Sea to shining sea
Sea to shining sea | Source
Freedom to nurture
Freedom to nurture | Source

It's Coming

Not So Easy

Choose wisely what you want. I want to be free to do whatever I want. Lucky for me, that what I want fits customs and in general social norms. Do not get me wrong. Socially it is not normal for one in their 60’s to have a ten year old son. While becoming more a norm mixed race couples are still behind the curve. And enjoying brutal hikes and sleeping in the dirt is far from the norm. Driving a 16 year old car might be strange to many and being a house mom might be different for a man. But all in all those are pretty well accepted.

Social diversity. This is just an amazing thing. If it is not a psychotic type, being different is celebrated by many many people. But in the blending we must take care to revere and hold up different cultural nuances and “rules”, “doctrines” and customs. It is incumbent on us not to let our will shape the will of others, other than by example and with compassion and empathy.

I am a lucky writer. It is my extreme pleasure that I have a gift to ask the questions that help you help your self to shape what is your will. Not a teacher, preacher or guide. My will is to stand with or behind and let others lead in their own liberty, at which I am the student. Now those blessings are just dumb luck liberties.

Can you imagine writing a legal “brief” using questions as the arguments? While not easily said it is harder to do. That is my niche. Bringing compassion, empathy and caring into a legal world where this is too often missing. Or maybe it should be missing. Too much compassion for a downright nasty no good bully of a wife beater maybe he should not have compassion from society? Big question. Was his free will battered out of him as a child. Is he not at liberty by himself to exercise the will to be gentle? Yet with help he can be cured. So was he at liberty to seek help. Those who would help him would get a blessing from the no good rotten bastard and from those around him. Most of the time “Anger management” is not just a catch phrase but truly works. But then sometimes bad folk choose to be bad, and all hope is lost until a catharsis. Liberty gets tricky in these areas.

Certainly as a society we must take liberty to take away liberty from those who would take away ours. There is only one way that this can be done properly.

My Buddy Buddha

Freedom
Freedom | Source

Liberty Gets Twisted Sometimes

Chose to Love. Thank You

Love thy enemy, love your God, love your neighbor, love the least of these, love nature and love the technology that threatens that. Easy peasy to exercise our liberty to hate and/or not care. Apathy, the opposite of love, means we choose not to fulfill our duty to exercise that free will. Yes it is a responsibility to act and think when it comes to liberty. We are not at liberty to avoid asking and answering questions for ourselves. That would be the opposite of cherishing, nurturing and stewardship of this gift we have been given by those who would stand up for our freedoms.

Is a freed slave all the sudden to be liberated? I think not, much like a prisoner of years. The cage remains in their psyche. A brand new notion of free will thrown at them without a user’s manual. The chains that bind are not only physical and in fact mostly mental and emotional. Learning to love is the only sure cure for this inflicted malady.

If it is our want to express and act upon our free will in love, then no law do we break and we do not take another’s. Teachers, preachers and “strict” parents fall upon the sword of “do as I say not as I do”. Clearly something is forcing them to not exercise the liberty that is love. The most freeing thing in the world is love. The shackles of envy, hate, anger and apathy are shed.

Abraham Lincoln said to effect “The greatest freedom is obedience to the law.” I believe he was referring as much to God’s law as man’s law. Now I say throw in the love factor and you have this tenfold.

In our great Liberty we can see the will we should choose most clearly if we look. There is no great law that binds us if we choose not to follow it. And indeed there are laws that we should not follow as long as the great medical creed goes “do no harm.” If we do no harm and we “do” in love we are as free as can be. We are at a state and grace of Liberty. I have free will. I will do as I want. Just so happens that, to this reformed no good, I choose to love. I have no idea how that came to pass. Except maybe because you all were at liberty and chose to love me.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thanks Denise, it is a strange one for moral people, seems like the more you have, the less you have and it is a good thing. Like a narrow road.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      6 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      You make some very good points. Liberty is a puzzle to be solved and means different things to different people. But I also believe in laws that keep all of us safe and free from those who want the liberty to break laws.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So great Devika and of course you share that and we are blessed.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I live by the choices I make and this shows me just that. Love and to be free in the life I have.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Umesh. I learned a lot writing it also.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      6 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      I learned many things related to liberty today. Well presented.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Dora. If we are obedient we are sure a whole lot happier.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      "Abraham Lincoln said to effect “The greatest freedom is obedience to the law.” . . . Now I say throw in the love factor and you have this tenfold." Great conclusion. Life would be so much more comfortable if we all were obedient and had this love attitude.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda you remind me that I have messed up in love, but love has never messed me up. As with you love is the main ingredient in a good life. Thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, with liberty, comes responsibility, but if we operate from the position of love, we will act responsibly, right? Live your life with love and the rest is easy. Thanks for a beautiful sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive maybe even questionable at that -- slave to the wind?

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      6 weeks ago from Jamaica

      Earth is really a slave planet and the only thing liberated hear is the air.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is great to hear from you Mitara. All is well here. It is starting to boil down to politics, so we grab some popcorn and watch the show.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      6 weeks ago from South Africa

      Presented very well, with an interesting take on liberty, its findings, responsibilities etc.

      Always enlightening when viewed from a different angle.

      God bless, take care and be safe

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Perfect Lori, Galatians is truly much about this. Lori it has been a bit but Plato's Republic tells us that you may be civilly disobedient but you must 1. Accept punishment. 2. Stage a rebellion. or 3. Flee the country as an exile.

      I also tried to incorporate Gal. 4:8 "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods."

      That really helps sum up freedom.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      6 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great topic and you covered it well. I think you nailed it perfectly when you mentioned responsibility. Liberty comes with responsibility whatever it is. Doing what one pleases does not mean breaking the law or taking away someone else's freedom.

      You also mentioned love, as you often do and it brought me to the Galatians 5:13 where it says "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Thanks for a great message.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mr. Happy my son and wife "practice" Russian Orthodoxy. Interesting group those folks. You do make me realize how "un"line we are here in the USA. Certain sales and movies, but for sure not much for churches.

      I reckon sound and video outlets online are at liberty to deny just about anything.

      Sure is good to hear from you. Lucky you Toronto in the Spring time. Us desert rats have to pay attention to see seasons.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      6 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Video Unavailable - The uploader has not made this video available in your country" - So, I am not at liberty to watch this video? Come on now ... Haha, that's what I get for being Canadian, huh? Or, I should say "ehh"? Haha!!

      This 'liberty" stuff is all in the eye of the beholder. Just like the "suffering" people are going through right now. A few days ago, I was in line to enter the supermarket (they only let in a bunch of people at a time, while the rest have to line-up outside, two meters apart).

      Behind me where to young ladies and one of them said to the other: "You know, I have never lined-up like this since we used to go to the clubs." I barely held-back a laugh. I do remember in my twenties going downtown to the busy night-clubs and sometimes we'd have to line-up for a good half-hour to forty-five minutes. That's all these young North Americans can relate to in terms of "line-ups", or maybe when their favorite Star Wars movie comes-up and they line--up overnight at theaters. I lived through a dictatorship though, so line-ups for bread were often 4-5 hours long. My father was laughing the other day telling me how he waited in a line for petrol once for 36 hours. Haha!! You're at liberty to buy twenty litres of petrol, if You line-up for 36 hours. What You know, there's liberty even in dictatorships lol

      Alrighty, I went off-roading a little here. It was an interesting read: "Liberty". "Liberté, égalité, fraternité", or "Love" as You call it.

      All the best! Enjoy our Greek Orthodox Good Sunday.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you just made me think of sitting under that tree with the freedom to relax and contemplate life. Not bad at all.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, good luck with your cogitations. I do care how that goes - no apathy here, except when it comes to things my wife sometimes thinks are important.

      I like you thought on Liberty being best displayed by our willingness to give up some of it. Cool.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela, I was also thinking of one's place with siblings. I am youngest of 6. It took years to stop seeing myself as that, but rather Eric. We are so blessed to have the luxury to do such examinations.

      Thank you

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Flourish I am glad you found some interest here, thanks. That interesting idea of self denial of a freedom baffles me as to a label. consciously it seems great subconsciously not so good. That freedom to chose - is where it is at.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann I thank you for your comment. I share your love for words. A pleasure I had was teaching ESL for citizenship. So fun to really examine the words and discuss them.

      Liberty is a good one I think.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Always an enjoyable roll in the hay with you, buddy! Liberty through love...what a weird concept, right? I am free to love anyone and everyone. I choose that, or I don't, and the path going forward will reflect that choice. I choose the happy path, and the only way I can be happy is to love. It all seems to circle back around to that central concept: love!

      I'm exhausted from all this thinking and loving. Time of a nap!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Tim. I was once asked what I am grateful for. My response was that I am grateful. And I am extremely grateful for all the love from good folks like you. When we are in love we are in this together. How cool is that?!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      6 weeks ago from San Diego California

      I think liberty is the liberty to surrender our liberty. I like going out and drinking beer until the wee hours with the boys, but my wife does not approve, so I willingly surrender my liberty to her, because I like her even better than beer. Nobody enjoys complete liberty, we are all under restraints. Some of those restraints are self-imposed, others are enforced upon us. If there really was a thing called complete liberty, would we really want it, or does the social animal we are require constraints upon our liberty so that we can live at peace, without killing each other?

      Apathy the opposite of love? Whoa Nelly! That's deep. I'm going to have to cogitate a while on that.

      As usual, you give me some tasty thoughts to chew on for my Sunday breakfast.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      I like the way you look at things from multiple sides. I like the slave example as certainly being a slave would change the way you view most anything, even when you have been freed.

      Love your neighbor, people in general or anything else sure feels better then hate. Lincoln plus the love factor makes for a fullfiling life. This is a good sermon today, Eric.

      Be safe and healthy!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      I enjoyed your perspective. Liberty right now is the voluntary exercise of self-restraint and self-denial so that we can have a better tomorrow for all. It’s patriotic to comply by staying home when you don’t technically have to. We are all in this together... I guess except for the people on the Florida beaches and those who flooded the Michigan capital.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 weeks ago from SW England

      You see all the angles of everything, Eric! There is no hard and fast meaning to any word in our language is there really? So many facets, so many interpretations, that it can end up in total confusion. But, you are right - there is one way to overcome all of that - love. Pure and simple! Simple solution. Simple word. Maybe not so simple to do but we have free will to try and so that's what we do. Everyone has that capacity, to chose to love or not to - and who's the loser? The one without the love, either to give or to receive.

      Well, I'm rambling now so it's time to go! Thank you for your wisdom which always leaves me with hundreds of thoughts - but good ones. Thank you Eric!

      May you and yours keep safe and well.

      Ann

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      6 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      Loved it. I am at liberty to truly cherish your wonderful article. "Love thy enemy, love your God, love your neighbor, love the least of these, love nature and love the technology that threatens that." You are a gifted talented loving soul, Eric, and you make your point with tenderness. God bless you and your family.

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