When I think of the USA, only one word comes to mind. That word, of course, is freedom.
I cannot think of any word that better describes the United States, of which I am gratefully a privileged citizen.
Yes, I appreciate all that my country stands for. I love the patriotism my fellow Americans share with me. I am grateful for the democracy under which our government was established. I enjoy the conveniences of modern medicine, with health care so up-to-date to meet my needs. I am thankful for the abundance of food and the precautions my country takes to make sure it is safe for consumption. I do not take our educational system for granted, having a grown daughter who has gone through that system and benefitted greatly by it.
And then there is the beauty that is all around for me to behold. Oh, beautiful, those spacious skies, and amber waves of grain. The purple mountain’s majesty, above the fruited plain. The rivers, the national parks, the thick forests, all for me to savor and taste the goodness of God in my midst!
Still, when I think of America, only one word comes to mind. Freedom! That word is the most important in one’s vocabulary. For without it, nothing else matters. There would be no patriotism among my fellow Americans without freedom. Democracy is based on freedom. What good would modern medicine be if I was not free to choose my own medical treatments? If I was not free to eat, would it really matter that the food is safe for human consumption? Education would mean nothing to me at all. Without the freedom to do with my life what I want to do with that education, my learning would be in vain.
And then there is the beauty all around me to behold. If I was a prisoner in this land, even if I saw the beauty, I would not appreciate it. As a prisoner I would find it impossible to see anything but my pain and suffering. The goodness of God is better tasted and savored if I am free to partake of it.
There are many kinds of freedom in the wonderful USA. When called upon and asked which freedom means the most to me, I would most definitely say it is the freedom of religion. I love my country for its stand on this issue. Now, just a few short years ago, I do not believe I could say that freedom of religion is the most important freedom of all.
Freedom of religion means that people in our country can worship any god, any way that they choose, without fear of punishment. Our country is full of religious organizations and churches, with many variations and even with different gods. Yet there is freedom for all.
As a child, I was raised in a Satanic cult. My family was free to worship Satan. Now, had some of the atrocities been discovered, those acts would have been punishable by law. But their religion and beliefs alone could not be touched. My family had the right to worship Satan, and there was nothing anyone could do to change that.
Because I had to live through that horrific upbringing, freedom of religion was something that I hated at one point in my life. I detested the fact that my family could worship Satan, and at the same time go to a Christian church to cover their “true” religion.
But then came the day I finally realized that as an adult I had the right to choose my religion. I did not have to remain a Satanist. I had freedom, and I chose the “Freedom Fighter,” Jesus Christ!
Jesus came into my troubled mind, and healed the memories of my past. He showed me what true freedom of religion is. I am a changed life. I finally discovered that my family’s choice of religion was not my own. There was no freedom for me, no way of escape, until I finally grew up emotionally and made the choice I had wanted to make all my life. That choice is Jesus.
Looking back, as I thank God for freedom of religion in this country, I have even thanked Him for my upbringing and my family’s choice of Satanism. Why? Because without it, I would not be the person I am today. I would never understand true freedom, which is freedom in Christ!
God bless the USA!
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