Friday, July 2, 2010

63 Quotes About Freedom and Liberty: Happy Birthday, America!

*** What do Liberty and Freedom mean to you?

Fire in the sky by Randy Son Of Robert @ flickr

From Denny: The struggle for freedom in humanity is an ancient tale. Slavery is recorded in the Bible. Slavery of mind and heart is central to the story of the Jewish Prophet Moses bringing the people up out of Egypt, freeing them from their captors of 400 years.

The people had been enslaved for so many generations they did not understand the concept of freedom nor the responsibilities that hitch a ride with it. Even Apostle Paul, so many centuries later as a man of wealthy family who was slated to become the High Priest of Jerusalem yet chose to follow Jesus Christ, discusses living "the law of liberty" as a Christian in the New Testament.

True spiritual development is the way of liberty yet a liberty lived with a social conscience and compassion toward the lives of others. Always, a mature spiritual person knows it is their duty and mission in life to assist others in their soul journey while here on Earth.

During this Fourth of July celebration of America's birthday of when we declared ourselves a sovereign nation, take time to ponder your life of liberty. Are you living your liberty to its fullest? Have you set your spirit free?


* The fact, in short, is that freedom, to be meaningful in an organized society must consist of an amalgam of hierarchy of freedoms and restraints. - Samuel Hendel

* He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. - Thomas Paine

* History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads. - Charles de Gaulle

* Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. - President Dwight D. Eisenhower

* Liberty is the possibility of doubting, of making a mistake,... of searching and experimenting,... of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophical, religious, social, and even political. - Ignazio Silone, The God That Failed, 1950

* Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions. - Ambrose Bierce

* The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree. - Thomas Campbell

* Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. - Napoleon Bonaparte (yet he crowned himself emperor)

* Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don't regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression. - Gerard K. O'Neill, 2081

* Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. - Thomas Macaulay

Sparkling fireworks by greeblie @ flickr

* I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom. - Simone de Beauvoir

* My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. - Adlai Stevenson, speech, Detroit, 1952

* It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. - Anonymous, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler

* We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. - Robert J. McCracken

* You have freedom when you're easy in your harness. - Robert Frost

* For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? - Ralph Waldo Emerson

* Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. - Thomas Paine

* In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

* We have to call it "freedom": who'd want to die for "a lesser tyranny"? - Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

* Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. - Moshe Dayan

Exploding star fireworks by JulieLane Photography @ flickr

* There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought. - Charles Kingsley

* No one is free when others are oppressed. - Anonymous

* Nations grown corrupt
Love bondage more than liberty;
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty.
- John Milton

* Just, harmonious, temperate as is the spirit of liberty, there is in the name and mere notion of it a vagueness so opposite to the definite clearness of the moral law.... - Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

* Freedom means choosing your burden. - Hephzibah Menuhin

* Most people want security in this world, not liberty. - H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956

* We feel free when we escape - even if it be but from the frying pan into the fire. - Eric Hoffer

* We are free, truly free, when we don't need to rent our arms to anybody in order to be able to lift a piece of bread to our mouths. - Ricardo Flores Magon, speech, 31 May 1914

* Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond. - Jeffrey Borenstein

* Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. - Harry Emerson Fosdick

Watermelon on ice by quinn.anya @ flickr

* Freedom is not enough. - President Lyndon B. Johnson

* Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. - Woodrow Wilson

* The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions. - Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, 28 August 1952

* We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. - William Faulkner

* They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

* Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires, - Necessity and Free Will. - Thomas Carlyle, Essays, "The Opera"

* We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. - Felix Frankfurter

* O Liberty...! is it well
To leave the gates unguarded?
- Thomas Bailey Aldrich

* No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck. - Frederick Douglass, speech, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D.C., 1883

* Let freedom never perish in your hands. - Joseph Addison

Watermelon slices by moreno0101 @ flickr

* Who speaks of liberty while the human mind is in chains? - Francis Wright, 1828

* Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. - George Washington

* I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. - James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788

* Liberty doesn't work as well in practice as it does in speeches. - Will Rogers

* Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. - Mahatma Gandhi

* Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive. - Theodore Roosevelt

* Freedom is never free. - Anonymous

* Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
- William Cowper

* Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort which it brings. - Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929

* The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power. - Daniel Webster

Eating watermelon with gusto by Jonf729 @ flickr

* Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. - Albert Camus

* Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves. - D.H. Lawrence, Classical American Literature, 1922

* I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery. - Anonymous

* Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves. - Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1888

* The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. - Louis D. Brandeis

* When the People contend for their liberty, they seldom get anything for their Victory but new Masters. - George Savile

* Without freedom, no one really has a name. - Milton Acorda

* A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century. - Baron de Montesquieu

* Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, "Maxims: Liberty and Equality," 1905

* The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. - Edmund Burke

Pismo Beach, California red fireworks by puliarf @ flickr

* We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. - Edward R. Murrow, journalist during the oppressive McCarthy era

* Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves. - Anonymous

* Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - Abraham Lincoln

* We anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves. - Errico Malatesta, l'Agitazione, 18 June 1897

*** For more Fourth of July posts see also:

How Do We Live Freedom and Liberty? Libations Friday - 2 July 2010

Fourth of July When Life is Simple poem - Libations Friday 25 June 2010

Dennys Photo Gallery: Fourth of July Spectacular Fireworks

Dennys Photo Gallery: Fourth of July Watermelon

Cake Tuesday: Red, White and Blueberry Shortcakes

Cake Tuesday: Red, White and Blue Independence Day Cake

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