.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Freedom v. Liberty Revisited

Comments below regarding the Chris-SSC debate on "freedom" demonstrate a further need for coming to terms as to the use of the words"freedom" and "liberty."

I believe the Framers used the word "liberty" in the Due Process Clause (i.e., liberty shall not be deprived without due process of law) because liberty is associated with the inability to move or go as you please. When one is arrested or imprisoned, one has lost his liberty.

Freedom is different or at least the Framers thought it so. Freedom is a gift from God not to be abused. Our concept of freedom should not be reduced to mere liberty. We lose something of value when we conflate the two.

For an interesting document on modern notions of freedom, check the Vatican II document on religous freedom. Up until that point, the Roman Catholic Church held the view that religious freedom only applied to the one, truth faith. One did not have a right to worship a false God or religion. But, in the document, the Roman Catholic Church expanded its notion of freedom of religion to include freedom to practice other religions -- without recanting its assertion that Catholicism is the one, true faith.