David Davenport: From and For: The Prepositions of Freedom

When Independence Day comes around, we mostly celebrate what we’re free from. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed our freedom from the King, from his abolishing our laws and taxing us without consent.

But the other side of freedom is to ask what we are free for? What is it we want to do in a positive way with our freedoms? We are free, the same Declaration said, to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That same dilemma faces Americans now as we celebrate another Independence Day. America seeks to be free from the interference of other countries, from undue interference even from our own government. Of course we’d like to be free from viruses and face masks and racial injustice.

But to accomplish that, we must accept the responsibilities of freedom. We must be free for living as responsible citizens every day.

Happy Independence Day!