I started to write this column pondering the things government has done to be thankful for. I soon realized how foolish that frame of thought was. Government in any form exists from the will of the people, from those it rules over or, if you live in America, serves. We are blessed to live in a country where for over 500 years, it has been settled by hardy individuals seeking freedom of religion, economic opportunity or land ownership. Others had to first overcome the evil of slavery to garner freedom. Throughout our history, thousands of Americans have risked all, in worldwide military conflicts to protect the gift of freedom and to end government-supported slavery, not only for Americans but in the hope of planting the seeds of freedom in foreign lands. As any veteran will tell you, “Freedom is not free.”
Free will is a gift from God; the pursuit of freedom is thus a natural result of that gift. Wisdom and common sense are also God-given gifts and if pursued stand as a natural check on absolute freedom.
We live in a society where some seek to define freedom as the ability to pursue pleasure through sloth, drugs, alcohol or deviant behavior; but the wise understand: When those pursuits are gained they do not provide freedom but slavery.
Government does not supply blessings; in fact, too often it not only restricts the rewards garnered from a person’s good choices, but also acts as an enabler for a fool to be foolish.
So on Thanksgiving Day, as on all days, I am thankful for the freedom to worship God without government persecution, to protect my health with what I choose to eat, drink and breathe, to associate with those who have my best interests in mind, to work and live where I see fit, and as an elected official to speak the truth without fearing the wrath of the fool. Freedom, most of all, offers the lasting blessing of forgiveness; for if we fail today to be vigilant in how we exercise our freedoms, tomorrow is a new opportunity to try again.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, I consider the ability to surround myself with family and friends a reward for the wise exercise of my freedom.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Contact Sen. Mike Groene: firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-471-2729.