"Write your name down on a piece of paper," Professor M. instructed. The class grumbled. "Don't worry, I'm not making you take a quiz." He slyly smiled. "I want you to answer this: Where do you get your freedom from?"
From where do I get my freedom? I thought this was physics class, not history. Some students quickly scratched down an answer, while others sat thinking.
Well, God gives us our free-will...but I'm pretty sure that's not what he's looking for. Okay mind, pull up those files from government class...I know this is in some founding document. Let's just go with the Bill of Rights since the Amendments gives us all those rights. That should cover it. I should still mention free-will though, because we still have the freedom to break laws and ignore the rights of others.
"We have natural freedom because of free-will. Much of our freedom and rights were established in the Bill of Rights."
Yeah, I'll agree that it was a pretty lousy response. But my brain was on frictional forces, not founding fathers.
He collected and silently reviewed our responses while we went back to physics problems. At the end of class he said, "Just as I suspected--a typical class. Many of you said that the soldiers give us our freedom, or the government. The government can't give you any freedom--if anything they take it away! So where do we get our freedom from?" he asked again.
"As written in the Declaration of Independence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'" He recited with eloquence.
Then my physics professor said, "You get your freedom from GOD."
The room was silent.
The student to my left shifted in his chair and began to rapidly tap his finger on his notebook before challenging, "What if you don't believe in God?"
Professor smiled, "He gives you that freedom to not believe in Him."
The agitated student then pointedly asked, "Which god?"
To which my professor firmly replied, "THE God."
All the while I sat in my chair beaming with admiration. His answer was so unexpected and refreshing, especially in today's society where God is pushed out of the public place, particularly from schools.
We no longer recite our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of this nation united as one under God. "In God We Trust" is no longer on the face of the dollar coin, but on the edge. This clearly makes the statement that soon He will be pushed right off the edge. There are countless stories of students being reprimanded for even saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes, or for praying before their lunch. Coaches are getting suspended for encouraging prayer before games...the list goes on and on.
I see it in myself. As I walked down the hall after class, I reflected on my answer. Why did I not write down my original thought? Evidently, I too have fallen for the "God doesn't belong in school" mantra. This upsets me. What was I afraid of? Government? The school? A scoff? ...I was fearing these things above God.
That's right. I, the one who refers to herself as the "transformed rebel," is more like a "conformed coward." It's not even like I live in the Middle East where I, like Peter, could be facing death for acknowledging Him. Here I have the First Amendment right to freely speak and practice my religion; a right that I should be exercising regardless if it is given by the government or not. An unalienable right that I should be exercising because it is a freedom given to me by God.