President Franklin Roosevelt famously talked about four freedoms in his address to congress in January of 1941. Freedom of expression - Freedom of religion - Freedom from want - Freedom from fear. In Roosevelt's speech, he spoke of these freedoms as the central values for which we were fighting the second world war.
I heard these freedoms mentioned again on NPR this week, and I've been pondering over it since then. It was stated in the interview that you might not be overly concerned with the first two freedoms if the second two are being violated. In other words, when you are hungry, freedom of speech is not at the top of your priority list. When you are scared about losing your job, you don't really care as much about everyone's right to worship as they want.
I think that these four freedoms have to be in balance across a society in order for the society to flourish. When one of them is out of whack, the whole system is affected. And I see (granted, from my own personal perspective on things) that we are not a society that is free from want. Poverty is a global issue, and I think it is the priority of our time.
Secondarily, we are not a sociaty that is free from fear. But I think that our fearfulness is at least in part a result of our poverty. When resources are limited, people start to be afraid, and start to act out of that fear.
Look, I understand that each of us has a particular perspective, and that each of us views the world "through our own lens." I do it all the time, I know that. I am grateful for the many regular readers of Enter the Rainbow who respectfully share their own, contrasting perspectives, too. (Diana, Joseph, Larry B, John, Kansas Bob, I'm looking at you!)
With that said, my perspective includes a preference toward compassion for others, and a priority toward eliminating poverty. I did not pull that perspective out of mid-air, but lived into it - in prayer, through study of scripture, in my experience with the foster care system, working with the immigrant community in Kansas City, and growing up in a family that taught me to live a certain way.
Starting from this perspective, I nevertheless want to learn as much as I can about others'. Which prompted my question in my previous post. All of your answers were very helpful - thanks.
Here's my next observation/question, then:
I understand a perspective that says, "I want to share with others, but would rather do it on my own than entrust the government to do it for me." But is that really what the emotional reaction I witnessed at the Palin rally saying? I kind of think it was more like, "It's my money and I'm keeping it for myself." In short, I do not think the reaction was against the idea of the government spreading the wealth, but against the very idea of spreading the wealth at all. I don't know, maybe y'all can help me out with that one, too.
Ensuring our nation's freedom from want will inevitably make our nation stronger. That's my perspective as a citizen of the United States.
Ensuring our world's freedom from want will hopefully help God's creation to flourish. That's my perspective as a child of God.