Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day

Independence Day falls on a Sunday this year, so that gives us all an excuse to celebrate the holiday all weekend long. Indeed, my church is having a community party tonight. So, it is probably forgivable that I publish this post a day early.

Happy Independence Day! If you are in the United States or are an American abroad, I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family. And I hope you do something to celebrate beyond getting a good deal on a mattress, big screen TV or craft supplies. As is probably obvious from past posts on this blog, I think holidays are useful for us to reflect on whatever milestones or causes that inspired them. There are many blessings to living in this great country. We are reminded of that fact with much frequency recently as the debates over immigration take center stage. For a variety of reasons, people continue to sacrifice and risk their lives to get a chance to live in the United States. By accident of birth, many of us are fortunate enough to have lived in this country all (or nearly all) our lives. We in particular should never overlook that blessing and we should always be grateful.

This July 4th weekend I am personally grateful for many blessings bestowed upon me by virtue of being an American. In some ways, I am particularly grateful for freedom of speech. As a budding scholar, who has had her articles published in legal journals and who is able to publish her ideas instantaneously on this blog at any time, I owe much to the First Amendment.

I love the marketplace of ideas. I have a healthy skepticism about the ability of markets generally to produce positive results when completely unregulated. However, I believe in Truth and certainly do not fear differences of opinion. As an imperfect, weak human being, I certainly don't claim to always know the Truth. And I am sure that our Creator looks down at me in loving patience wondering when the heck I'll figure more of it out. But I have confidence that the Truth will make itself known over time and Truth will always prevail.

In that vein, I even love the anonymous and often bitter comments left on this blog--particular those left by fans of Janet Parshall. (God bless them!) As Americans, we all have the right to speak our minds without fear of government interference and to let other people decide for themselves the wisdom of our ideas. How wonderful is that?!

Some colleagues of mine were recently scheduled to speak at a scholarly conference in a country with a repressive government that engages in widespread censorship and has an appalling human rights record. At the last minute, however, the conference was cancelled by that repressive government. If the position you hold is wrong and untenable, your best option might be to prevent others from ever advocating a different position. In that context, the market place of ideas is not your friend.

I came across a great editorial about Independence Day this morning. It is in a local community newspaper that I enjoy. It is available at the link below. Enjoy and have a safe holiday weekend!

John 8:32 (King James Version)

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

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