Serious, by Ken Bradbury, 1996

It seems in recent years that freedom has become the responsibility of only those who wear a uniform and tote a gun. The new enemies of freedom are seeded into our landscape. They are already here: prejudice, fear, shortsighted solutions.


8 - 10 minutes

Product Id: #402

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An excerpt …

            Last Fourth of July I went to a patriotic celebration at a local park. There were all the things you might expect for an Independence Day celebration: flags, a band, and a speaker. The speaker was a man who had served in three different wars as part of our armed forces. Wearing his former military uniform he made a dashing figure  and spoke eloquently, urging us to be “… ever ready to again take up arms in the fight for freedom.” I enjoyed listening to him. It seems that I need to be reminded every so often of the terrors of men killing each other … and the willingness of the many who have put forth their very lives for the principles upon which our country is founded. I need that speech every so often.

            There is another speech I think I need to hear. I need to listen to someone speak eloquently about a new threat to freedom. Or perhaps, an old threat in new disguise.


The world around us gets a little scary … crime, drugs, gangs … perversions of all kinds. As these elements get more visible in our society, freedom starts to quake a little. Some lawmakers with an eye on re-election, spew forth bills that sparkle when they hit the evening news in 10 second bites … bills that appeal to the fearful among us … bills with little regard to good sense and long range consequences … bills with little regard to freedom.

            Our nation is becoming increasingly non-white. Immigration gives us instant population blocks, and, as the number of immigrants surpasses national childbirth, some look to laws that put locks on our national borders. Liberty increasingly becomes a word for white and natural born … justice becomes a commodity for current residents … and freedom starts to quake a little more.


The new enemies of freedom are seeded into our landscape; they are already here: prejudice … fear … shortsighted solutions. They are easily disguised in clothes of poverty or clearly labeled with colors of the skin. They creep into the darkness of the mind and cry forth slogans of hatred. They rely upon quick and shallow answers which compound the problems. Theses new enemies of freedom are armed and dangerous.


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