Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lucia What is true liberty

So many times I have read that liberty is being taken from us by the State, but it cannot take from us what is given to us by God. Only we can take it from ourselves when we fall slave to unforgiven sin, and then we become no barrier at all to the ever encroaching State.

On this subject, the great pagan philosophers and the Christians speak with one voice. Seneca writes that true liberty is the pursuit of wisdom. Aristotle writes that a free polis, the only true haven for human thriving, requires the virtue of friendship in pursuit of what is genuinely good. Plato writes that a man who gives himself over to base passions is no better than a slave. “What steals [man’s] liberty is sin alone,” writes Dante. Christians need look no further than the words of the Master: “Whosoever commits sin is the slave of sin” (Jn. 8:34).

Indeed, when we recognize that human liberty derives from God, or, for the agnostics among us, from what is objectively good and therefore to be sought, we have the strongest defense against the encroachments of tyrants, or an all-devouring State. This is so, writes Leo XIII in Libertas Praestantissimum, not only for each individual, but also for “the community and civil society which men constitute when united.” True liberty does not consist “in every man doing what he pleases,” but rather in obedience to the eternal law. That obedience liberates us in spirit and protects the civic freedom we have won: “Thus, an effectual barrier being opposed to tyranny, the authority in the State will not have it all its own way, but the interests and rights of all will be safeguarded – the rights of individuals, of domestic society, and of all the members of the commonwealth; all being free to live according to law and right reason; and in this, as we have shown, true liberty really consists.”

Related link: Spitting on the Crucifix ~ Crisis Magazine

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.