"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants". This is a famous Thomas Jefferson Quote. In this era of sound bite thinking this quote has been reduced to a bumper sticker: "Freedom isn't free". The bumper sticker version removes the cost of freedom, blood, and who pays. But consider that perhaps the reason for the removal of such words extends beyond the mere distillation of the quote to a bumper sticker.
Given the pervasive media's morbid infatuation with the death toll in the war on terror, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that, although freedom isn't free, blood might be too high a price to pay. And perhaps this would be the right conclusion when thinking of freedom in the context of modernity. Yet when Jefferson penned those words, he did so within the confines of natural law; a self evident understanding that there was an absolute unchangeable standard that governed the whole of mankind. Within that context, the understanding of liberty dealt with over-reaching governments, tyrants and despots that were to be defeated, even if it meant sending patriots to die on the battlefield, if liberty were to be preserved. There was an understanding in that day by those who had fresh memories of the inherent and enduring tensions that exist between man's yearning for freedom and his lust for power. It is from that perspective that our constitutional government, with its original intent of law and separated powers, can be understood with clarity.
There has been a pernicious shift in prevailing thought in the last half century however. Gone are the underpinnings of an absolute standard upon which the cost of freedom was enumerated; replaced by the shifting sands of a relative standard. Upon this standard of every man a law unto himself, a society's understanding of what morality it should impose upon itself via legislation, and which old impositions should be expunged, is ever changing under the force of anyone who can muster the power to achieve that change. Say hello to the new liberties of the multi-billion dollar porn and abortion industry. Say good by to any standards of decency that might stand in the way, and the freedom of the expression of religion that might cause a tinge of guilt.
Another casualty of this shift in thinking for any nation is its ability to defend itself, for if there is no higher order, there is nothing to defend except licence to do what an individual wills no matter how disdainful. The price paid in a war of this sort is ultimately cheap in terms of Jefferson's "tree of liberty" because it is fought in the courtrooms of a dying and visionless nation where the worst thing that can happen to the "patriot" is the necessity for an appeal. In these battles the blood of the true patriots is trampled upon as dung on the court room floor. Because the truth of the matter is that people do not freely give their lives for the right to buy and sale smut, or the right of a the rapist, child molester or pedophile to roam free . In cultural wars the only nutrition the tree of Jefferson's brand of liberty receives is money. This might explain the tree's impoverished state in America.
This is not to say that a tree of liberty is not refreshed with blood however, for in fact one is. Instead of the blood of patriots and tyrants, it receives the blood of children and the innocent. This fact goes unnoticed because, unlike the blood of the patriot, of which we're constantly reminded with long face and scowl of the tally by those whom disagree with his mission, the children are dying for something with which the prevailing media agrees. This something is the casting off of old guilt riddled restraint, and so called Victorian repression. No longer do we as a society have to live with the repressive consequences of shame and guilt. Judgement and discernment have been thrown into the dungeon along with its contemporaries chastity and decency. But do not be deceived, there is a cost for such licentious liberties, and the larger burden of that cost is bore by the weakest among us: children. But it is a price even the ardent anti-war progressive, with his hand wringing over the death toll of war, and his cries of "it's for the children!" is willing to pay. It's a new day, with a new liberty, and a new price to pay for that liberty. And it's paid by the victims of child murderers, molesters, rapist, and pedophiles. And don't expect a daily tally on the six O:clock news either. But the blood of these children is no less the cost for our current brand of foundationless liberty.
The latest high profile blood spilled was that of twelve year old Brooke Bennett. She is a casualty of a society that sees the liberty of her alleged murderer, Michael Jacques, a convicted sex offender, as more important than her very life; a society that did not have the will to protect her from the evil with which she met; a society that could not even call wrong and evil any of his behavior leading up to the moment he demanded of Brooke her life. Unlike the soldier, Brooke was denied the peace that might comfort a soldier at his time of death as he hopes that his death is not in vane. She could not have known as her consciousness faded that through her death, a lost and deluded society might be able to muster the will to keep this from happening again; at least at the hand of this particular child molester.
The demented addicts of the free flow of smut who have given themselves over to whatever fantasies roam their darkened minds; or the self proclaimed free thinking "progressives" that have freed themselves from the constraints of any concept of objective morality, will not say thank you to Brooke Bennett. There will be no empty moments of silence in commemoration of her or others like her who have paid the ultimate price on their behalf. But we should. Hence forth on July 12th, the day of Brooke Bennett's birth, and her funeral, we should observe another kind of memorial day. We will remember the children who have died at the hands of convicted pedophiles, and their ilk so that a lost and deluded society might finally muster the will to protect the young and defenseless, at least from their particular murderers.
Right now as you read this, somewhere, there is a young and innocent child, perhaps playing with a toy on her living room floor. Somewhere else, perhaps nearby, is a convicted predator enjoying his liberty, prowling the streets in search of his next victim. And one day these two will meet, and while her assailant uses her for his enjoyment, she will die a tortuous and horrific death. And she will do so, not as a soldier trained, equipped and armed on a battle field fighting for a civilized society and so refreshing the tree of liberty, but instead in a quiet secluded place where her screams will be not heard. Like the soldier, that child will be giving her life for the cause of a liberty, but for an ungrateful recipient. And this liberty will be a liberty totally alien to that of Jefferson's. And as we will inevitable demonstrate, totally alien to that of a civilized and peaceful society.
Majesty and Humility - David's Psalm 8 begins with the glorious, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens...