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The Liberty Bell in 1872

The Liberty Bell in 1872 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FREEDOM – we celebrate our freedom today, this Fourth of July.  We remember the Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the Revolutionary War that cost so many lives but gave us our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


But freedom was challenged when our nation divided two generations later, experiencing a Civil War.  Brother fought and killed brother – in the name of freedom. The Civil War was launched by the South’s rebellion against a national government’s policies regarding what they believed was personal property: slaves. When Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, the war’s rationale was transformed from states’ rights to freeing slaves.


Just as freedom rang clearly from our Liberty bell after the Revolutionary War, after the Civil War it rang for repressed African-Americans in our land. The next swing of liberty rang for the freedom of women – voting and workplace rights.


Americans have always been abolitionists, fighting for freedom, taking up the challenge to tackle each form of oppression as it was revealed.   In succession we fought England, then those that held others captive even among our own members, and extended that fight for equal representation of women.  We have always risen to the call to arm ourselves and fight against any form of oppression.


We only hesitate when the oppression has crept its way into our culture and claimed our own as the culprits and propagators of evil.  We hesitate because repentance is the only way out.


It is easy, looking back, to think there was a clear beginning and end to the war for freedom.  Maybe the war’s beginning is clear but the sin that was propagated and became the basis of the war was not.  The truth was that slavery was etched into the southern culture, to the extent that the “negro” of that day was bought, held captive, bonded, fed and bred like any other livestock.  And even today, we have a new culture of slavery. There has too often been a perception, most notably before the Civil War, but present in every generation, that people are animals, owned and used for the enjoyment or service of others. 


I question today if our Liberty Bell, rung for freedom, is presently Ringing… or Clanging?


I am involved in yet another movement of abolitionists.  Human trafficking is our modern-day slavery, and its very existence causes me to think our bell can only clang.  It no longer resonates clear and crisp.  Its tone is marred and muted.


Human trafficking exists as part of our tolerable” culture.  We have taken our liberty to pursue the happiness of sexual freedom, and a person’s freedom has been ransacked, manipulated, coerced, and extorted in the process.  No, not a person: 30 million worldwide; and even 200,000 U.S. children, our citizens, taken captive every year.


When did we as a nation close our eyes and stop our ears against the cries of this earth?  When did we begin our journey to the pit of tolerance, not wanting to see the end result of so many “Johns” who provide the demand for the business of trafficking?  When did we begin to extoll promiscuity as the right and symbol of a woman’s independence? When did we begin to allow ourselves so much freedom that we have robbed others of theirs?


The little foxes have spoiled the vine of genuine relationships between Man and Woman, and have muted our once-clear eyes, ears, and consciences.


I will repent for all the ways that I have turned a blind eye, convincing myself that prostitution is a personal choice instead of a crime perpetrated against women and children, only to find victims prosecuted as criminals; where the Johns who increasingly demand more flesh to consume get off for mere coins; where Pimps become icons in Hollywood, elevated and esteemed – Pimps who establish their rank, power, and prosperity on the altar of innocent lives.


I will lead the charge in repentance and be a part of those who restore the Bell of Liberty and Freedom.  Not freedom from religion; freedom of religion.  Not freedom from the law; freedom to honor all through upholding the law.  I join with my friend the author Charles Patricoff when he states, “by fighting to provide freedom for others, we preserve freedom for ourselves.”


Like an annoying alarm clock, Americans today keep hitting the snooze button.  We are reluctant to wake up to our own condition.  I have started to clean up that Liberty Bell of Freedom by purging my own house.  And I will do my part, to keep cleaning because I long to hear the clear and crisp tone resonating across our country, for all those oppressed, longing to be free…


LET FREEDOM RING as you listen to this amazing group honor our country!

For an indepth article articulating our foundation in freedom, please read this article by my dear friend Rick Marschall.