Freedom should be cherished

We cannot assume that Canada’s freedom will last forever.

We cannot assume that Canada’s freedom will last forever.

Is it possible that our grandchildren will not live in an era of freedom? Much of the world’s history has not been peaceful and full of hope, but rather full of war and a sense of hopelessness. History tells of wars, a struggle to survive and a lack of justice. It was not always understood that all people are born with certain rights such as the right to life, personal liberty, and the assurance of living off the fruits of one’s hands. Equality and justice have not been the norm!

Tyranny ruled in the Assyrian, Mongol, and Third Reich empires. Injustice and oppression had to be defeated. It is a sobering thought to read that most democracies only last 50 years. Yale professor, Robert Dahl notes that only 22 nations today have a democracy older than 50 years (The Miracle of Freedom 7 Tipping Points That Saved the World by Stewart & Stewart).

In Canada we enjoy our own homes, clean water, energy, travel, free press, free speech, free and fair elections, freedom of religion, law enforcement, and the hope of our children having a decent life.

I wonder if we are aware of the danger and will we cherish and protect the freedoms that a democracy brings. Unless we have traveled extensively, or are students of history we may not realize how unique our blessings are. Scholars estimate that only 4.5 percent of the world’s total population have ever lived under free conditions.

Today billions of people are living the miracle of freedom while the majority of the world’s historical population never had that opportunity.

Our freedom exists today partly because of the Christian heritage we gained through the Europeans who valued and allowed reason, responsibility, equality, law and self-government to grow. It was Rodney Stark, who said, ‘While the other world religions stressed mystery and intuition, Christianity alone embraced reason and logic…’ This reasoning brought about the scientific revolution. There were pioneers in the fields of geology, atomic energy, and agriculture, and most importantly, the moral code including the belief in the sanctity of human life and marriage.

Can Canada’s freedom survive? May we not carelessly throw freedom away through neglect of our fundamental Christian values.

Shirley Schneider

Penticton