Liberty and license are not synonymous. Parents know better.
Too many of them have had the unfortunate dilemma of dealing with the “I am free to do as I please” child who routinely, or upon occasion, exercises that egocentric proclamation to reckless extremes. These parents stand as witnesses that a widely accepted notion that “freedom and moral responsibility are not connected” is at best a delusion instilled by mis-education, not experience, and is at worst a diabolical lie.
The pain they feel, the shipwrecked lives they labor to pick up and reassemble, the incessant pleadings to stubborn, short-sighted children, and the endless nights spent sobbing upon their knees, all testify to them that unrestrained freedom is not freedom at all, but quite often a terrible, miserable slavery.
Every act has a consequence. Experience, that cruel schoolmaster, teaches us that. But it’s not as if the idea is lacking in proponents.
The voice of Christianity warns, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (1)
The voice of the sciences seconds, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” (2)
And even the man-on-the-street echoes, “What goes around comes around.”
Experience, God, the scientist and the streetwise understand this common-sense law. Call it the Law of the Harvest, the Law of Physics, the Law of the Street, or the Boomerang Effect; it is dreadfully real that actions for good or evil will bring results which either enlarge or limit one’s freedom.
Sexual “freedom,” when thought through, provides a clear-cut confirmation of this truth. For instance, the modern doctors of humanism, socialism and new age-ism proclaim to our youth that premarital sex is a healthy, happy and satisfying activity.
No doubt, it seems satisfying for the few moments it lasts.
But the choice to be sexually active as a teen-ager is not the liberating, ‘isn’t-that-sweet’ lifestyle that the social engineers and social scientists say that it is.
Early premarital sex reaps natural consequences: loss of virginity, damaged or lost church affiliation, guilt, limitations on spousal selection (men exploit sexually active women but are reticent to marry them), social disease, pregnancy, adoption, abortion (with the even greater moral dilemma of considering killing one’s own), early marriage or single motherhood, increased risk for poverty, divorce (with its unpleasant, often unrelenting custody and parenting battles), abuse, and possible enslavement to government welfare programs.
This is especially so for the female. The male experiences some of the same, but worse yet, he often runs from responsibility and into the arms of yet another victim, and the cycle begins anew.
For a young lady abandoned to motherhood, even when she just happens to be that tough, resilient female who takes her lumps, transforms her life, bravely bears her child and wisely goes to college to improve her lot, the question must be asked of her, “Are you now free?”
Her answer most likely will be a resounding “No!” For when the school day is over, and the social and dating ritual begins, she is, rightly so, home with the baby, loving, feeding, cuddling, lullabying and diaper changing. She may be working a job.
Her social life is nonexistent; her chance of finding a worthy young man diminished; her study time, if she hasn’t the luxury of affording a babysitter (few do), checkered and challenged; her life terribly lonely and stress-filled.
There are exceptions, but relatively few.
Unrestrained freedom bears a heavy cost.
Others suffer too. Parents (in a variety of ways), younger brothers and sisters by way of a poor role model, friends who naively believe that single parenthood ‘looks like fun,’ and unrelated citizens who are forcibly taxed to pay for an assortment of social repair programs.
Beyond this, the precedent of extending a “safety-net” catches on and every other mistake-ridden person on the block joins in with the plea: “If the government can take care of him or her, than why not me?”
But there is at least one more cost. It is the cost of those whose exercise in “liberty” leads them to become bitter rather than better.
There is a little-known but documented story of an obscure boy, and his family, who converted to Christianity. Of that conversion, the changed young man wrote a precious and powerful testimony to the world concerning his newfound faith. It had transformed him and his parents, bringing great joy and purpose in life.
Then something devastating happened. He went to college! Isn’t that all too often the case? It was there that he, like so many others, decided it was time to spread his wings and assert his newfound freedom. He could have done so in a positive manner, but he did not. His choice was to have a sexual affair with a married woman.
At that point, rather than express regret and redress the mistake, he exulted in his liberty. He decided his previous religious liberation was a form of physical and emotional bondage. He began to pursue a course to denounce the religion of his parents, his former faith of Judaism, and every other religious faith. He set his hand against God, denounced Him as a hoax, and, as an addendum, promised to abolish all “eternal truths,” to erase “freedom, justice … religion … [and] morality,” and to eradicate those twin trouble makers (the family and private property) from off the face of the earth. (3) Men, he said, and only a few select men at that, were the only true gods, henceforth and forever. Truth and morality would now be relative.
He put this all down on paper. He founded a revolution based on these principles. This revolution first spawned by the self-justification of the ‘liberty’ he had found by violating the law of chastity with a married woman was the starting point of the most horrific adventure in mass murder, slavery and poverty in the history of the world.
Perhaps you’ve guessed it by now, though ‘historians’ and ‘educators’ have hidden the lesson. The boy’s name was Karl Marx. The philosophy he founded was Communism. You see, freedom without moral responsibility never really is an exercise in liberty at all. To embrace it is self-delusion, to promote it is to become co-conspirator in that great and terrible lie.
Steve Farrell is one of the original pundits at Silver Eddy Award Winner, NewsMax.com (1999–2008), the author of the highly praised inspirational novel Dark Rose, and Founder and Editor in Chief of The Moral Liberal.
1. Holy Bible, Galatians 6:7.
2. Newton, Sir Issac. This is Newton’s third law of motion.
3. Marx, Karl. “Communist Manifesto”