Friday, July 27, 2007

Freedom and Sacrifice

I've had a couple of commenters over on my page remark that young people today place little value on the basic freedoms we enjoy in America - it's all pretty much taken for granted.

Well, freedom isn't free.
Dr. Sanity brings home the point eloquently in her post up this morning. She starts with reflections on Harry Potter, then expands to address the challenges facing the country today:

I have been reading some of the reactions to the last book in the Harry Potter series; and one that keeps popping up in various iterations is, "But WHY did Rowling have to have so many people die in that book? Was that really necessary?"

It strikes me that there is something very significant in that particular reaction to the denouement of the series, because it reflects a particularly 21st century/post-9/11 kind of mindset: the idea that something of value can be achieved without sacrifice or burden or loss.

One of the important themes of the Harry Potter books is that it is important to do what is right, instead of what is easy. Sometimes even, the ultimate sacrifice must be made--that is, if you are truly willing to stand up and defend that which is right and good and decent in the world. And, it is that very truth which in the end destroys evil, because they simply cannot stand against this kind of deep magic.

It is also interesting that the evil we confront in our day and age has even managed to pervert the kind of sacrifice which is made out of love to save lives--specifically by creating the horrific abomination they call a "martyr", and which is in reality nothing more than a brainwashed human bomb, determined to kill and be killed.

I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but you can easily get lulled into thinking that, in the end, everything will come out ok and none of the good guys will get hurt or have to suffer unduly when they battle evil. In the real world, though, it is more often the case that the good and virtuous whose cause is just will not always win the battle, or even the war.

They especially are not likely to win it if they do not accept that there is a cost that must be paid--in lives and treasure--to secure the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for one's self and one's posterity.

Those who believe such values are theirs by right and are maintained for free, often show a correspondingly condescending sense of superiority along with their extremely narcissistic entitlement . They have forgotten--if they ever knew at all--how those precious freedoms and the human values on which they are based ever came to be the legacy of America.
Read the whole thing. I can't really add much to what she says, except to say that her message is one that bears repeating, over and over again, so that each generation of Americans will never forget the price of freedom and peace.

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