A Thought on Freedom

As our nation observes Independence Day, we are reminded that the notion of liberty enshrined in the founding documents of our country is one that views freedom as a gift from God and not from the government. For example, the Declaration of Independence asserts that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This belief is also reflected in Catholic thought which posits that, “Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being…The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority…” (CCC # 1738). As we celebrate the Fourth of July, may we remember that human freedom can only reach its fulfillment when lived out in accordance with the Law of God, from whom all freedom is derived.