Imagine a world where you don’t know your neighbor. A world that is full of lockdowns, mandates, and civil unrest. You are no longer allowed to travel outside of your home without papers proving that you are safe to go out in public. Wait… This is starting to happen now. COVID-19 has changed the way many people act and react to the actions of governments. This has created the opportunity for many corrupt influences to get positions of power in the United States government, based on providing “safety” and “security against threats, both domestic and foreign.” Many people have chosen to sit back and ignore the threats to their liberty. You must stand up and be one of the few that fight back. Most citizens of America agree that COVID needs to be stopped. There are some differing opinions on how to go about it though. Some believe that governments are established to protect on a minimal basis while others believe that Governments are intended to provide safety, security, and comfort. Governments are established to protect the rights of the governed because rights are essential in maintaining freedom and choice, freedom is key in following righteousness and morality (i.e. God’s commandments) for individuals and for nations, and following righteousness and morality is what leads us to true liberty.  

Guns are a big issue nowadays. Some think they should be made illegal while others think that there should only be minimal firearm restrictions. The second amendment of the Constitution protects the right to bear arms. The reason this specific right is enshrined in the Constitution is due to the fact that when a people are armed and educated it becomes nigh impossible for a tyrant to overthrow the law or the people. A few more rights that are enshrined by the Constitution are petition, assembly, press, religion, and speech. Without these essential rights and liberties, America would be striving to self-destruct. The history of Florence, Italy is a great example of how protecting rights leads to more safety and freedom than infringing on them. The Florentine government tried to ensure that expression wasn’t limited by law. Due to this haven of freedom that was created, a network of inspiring and articulate artists were able to succeed.  From Michelangelo to DaVinci, Botticelli to Raphael, all were present at one point or another in Florence. The liberties that they were given made Florence one of the most beautiful Italian cities.

The happiness that righteousness and morality brings could not be possible without Liberty. Each person is given the ability to choose to do good. If we didn’t have the liberty to make that decision, there would be no progress on the earth. Dr. Faustus is an example of how there is always a choice involved. He is visited by two angels periodically throughout the play by Christopher Marlowe. One of the angels is a good angel and the other is an evil one. They both try to get him to go to one side or the others, yet they can never force him. Ultimately, Faustus has to be the one to decide. Shakespeare also shows a great example of how using liberty to choose to infringe on another’s rights can lead to the demise of the perpetrator, in his play Richard III. Richard is an ornery old cuss who will do anything to get the power he desires. He kills his brother, his nephew, his closest advisors, along with many others to be crowned King of England. After his coronation, he gets word of an invasion by another who claims to be the rightful king. They meet in battle, Richard is killed, and a less tyrannical king is put into power.

In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare also teaches how related justice and mercy are, by un-relating them… To quote the play, “I’ll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak:” (Act III, Scene V). Shylock is requesting absolute justice, yet he does not realize how this will affect him. Later on in the prosecution, Portia, wife of Bassanio, friend of Antonio who is being tried, comes forward dressed like a doctor of law and points out that no man shall shed the blood of a Christian on Venetian soil. She turns the tides and enacts justice and some mercy towards Shylock for his attempted crime, the removal of 3 pounds of flesh from Antonio. Justice, mixed with a generous sprinkling of mercy, is a way freedom and happiness can be achieved. Marlowe shows this in Dr. Faustus by always giving the grievous doctor a chance to repent and change, up until the last stroke of his 24th year of necromancy, when Lucifer came to claim his soul. If Dr. Faustus had chosen to repent; he would have regained his freedom. Just remember that freedom is joy, choice, and a culmination of hard work, rights, and unity.

Many people in the United States believe that safety is much more essential than liberty. Benjamin Franklin would think the argument inadequate. He said,  “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Others may say that the Founding Fathers never intended for God and the Government to have any sort of connection, but as Benjamin Franklin once said, “If a sparrow cannot fall without God’s notice, is it probable that a nation rise without his aid?” While many agree with the aforementioned arguments, it must be remembered that God played a divine role in the founding of the United States of America, and without that role, our liberties, and our safeties, and our inspired constitution would have long ago expired.

All who live in America must realize that if they don’t take a stand, their rights will slowly be stripped away, and a once beautiful and free nation will become a cold, hard, skeleton. People will be mindless servants to those in charge, and America will no longer be great or good. Governments are established to protect the rights of the governed. It is important to understand one’s rights in order to stand up for them. When we know that rights are essential in maintaining freedom, freedom is key in choosing righteousness and morality, and by following moral laws we gain true liberty, then we have the power to create a beautiful land – a place of liberty and joy.