Good Thinking

By Don Kuehle

THE LAND OF THE FREE “I pledge my allegiance to the United States of America…” An American flag stands at the front of the church sanctuary. The flag reminds us of the greatness of our nation, of the rights and privileges we enjoy as citizens of America, and of the enormous debt we owe to our country. This week we will celebrate Independence Day. Fourth of July. A time to honor those men and women who gave themselves that we might have our freedom. They pledged themselves, under God, to build a nation in which every person would be free to live as God intended them to live. Think about the freedoms we enjoy! We have FREEDOM OF RELIGION. We can gather every Sunday to worship God in any manner we choose. Or we can choose not to worship. Whatever our decision, we don’t have to fear government interference, or fear the threat of harassment or imprisonment. We have the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. We are free to speak and debate any issue openly. We even have the freedom to criticize our leaders in public, without fear of retaliation. We have the FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. We are free to express our thoughts and opinions through the newspapers, and on radio and television. We might not always agree with what other people have to say, but we defend that person’s right to have his or her say. We have the FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY. We have the freedom to gather in business meetings, at rock concerts, in worship services, at community forums, and at sports events. We can gather without fear of being arrested or put in prison for our participation in a group. We have CERTAIN RIGHTS. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We are guaranteed the right of privacy, the right to a fair trial, as well as the right to travel when and where we choose. On this INDEPENDENCE DAY, let us give thanks to God for our nation! Let us renew our pledge to be better citizens, under God’s guidance. Let us live in such a manner that we will continue to enjoy our freedom! Dr. Don Kuehle United Methodist, Retired Jackson, Missouri