Have you ever read the definition. Let me share it with you.
1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint
From where I sit, I do believe this definition has not been fairly applied to all of us.
For whatever reason, society and our government has been involved a great deal of debate over the very rights that I fought for in this country. The right to be free to live as myself and the right to be free to live and love and marry who I love.
Over the course of history, we have certainly been here many times before. Let's see, the right for Women to vote, for African Americans to have the same rights as their white brothers and the freedom for interracial couples to marry the ones they love. Let me ask you when does all of this stop? Haven't we learned from our forefathers that interfering in the rights of others is wrong no matter how you look at it?
Why did I spend 21 years honorably serving my country and fought to protect only to continue to fight those who work hard to deny me what should be mine to cherish? Oh, I understand that some believe that allowing me my freedoms will encroach on the sanctity of something grand, marriage. Really, my brothers, sisters and I are the ones who are going to ruin the sanctity of marriage? Has anyone looked at the current divorce rate in our country lately? And I really don't want to get started here. Can we talk about all of the straight men and women who are married that have done a good job marring that all on their own? Something seems very wrong with this picture.
Nevertheless, over time, I have remained patient and on the sidelines and yes even hidden in fear of my beliefs. I can no longer do that anymore and I hope there are others who will take a stand for what is not only the right thing to do, but because freedom is for all for all of us Americans and it is what this country so proudly stands for. Every time I stand at a ball game or other event where we sing the Star Spangled Banner, I inevitably have tears streaming down my face because of the immense pride I have for this country and for my American heritage.
I believe that our differences do not have to cause infighting, war, hate or despair in this country on any level. Our differences are what makes this county so great. Our differences have been fought over for years on many levels as I mention above. Differences so great that they are why our men and women in the armed forces continue to die today.
While I seem to have gotten off on a tangent here, there are similarities in my Blog discussion today, between what we fight so hard against within our own borders and the men and women of our armed forces fighting on foreign soil. Regardless, I hope all of you will take a moment to notice that our youth continue to put their lives on the line for all of us. Do any of you take the time to read their names in the paper each week? I certainly do! Every Sunday, I say a prayer for them and their families and I thank God for their lives and their belief in something so grand, beautiful and honest, our freedom!