I am a patriot through and through. My favorite place in this entire country is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. It is a historic town, an exact replica of what it looked like in the 18th century. There you get to walk among the buildings and people that took a stand against tyranny. And if you pay attention, you will feel the profoundness of it all.
These were real people who decided they needed to take action against wrongs. They weighed the cost, asked challenging questions, and decided that they needed to stand for what was right. They did this knowing they may have to sacrifice wealth, families, even their own lives in order to do what is right. Invited in, you can hear their debate and experience what they were fighting against.
You can see what freedom meant to them. The rights of freedom—what we take for granted—that they believed in and fought for. They took a stand and said people should be treated differently than animals because they are made in the image of God. They rebelled against the tradition of title, land, money and power—believing instead that people should be given equal opportunity in a free market to work hard and keep what they work for. They believed in representation—that the people who’s everyday lives are affected by the government’s rules should have a say in what those rules are. They believed that every person has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You may be yawning now. Because you have been living with these rights since the day you were born. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that these “normal” rights are commonly accepted everywhere.
Because when you look at the rest of the world, you realize that our experience is unique.
In many other countries you are only protected by your money and power. Here, the poor and weak are protected equally by law.
In many other countries you are told how you can think and believe. Here you can think and believe however you want to.
In many other countries most women and children are abused and dominated over, and the attacker often goes unpunished. Here women’s rights are being fought for, and we punish those who harm a woman or a child.
In many other countries, it could mean death to speak out in any way against the government. Here every person has the right to voice their non-violent opinion against anything or anyone.
Here we are safe. Here we are not afraid.
I am thankful to live in this country. Thankful to the men who founded it on Biblical principles, recognizing that humans have rights just by being born. Thankful to every person who sacrificed for my right to disagree… or agree… as I choose. Thankful for those who are still fighting for my freedom.