Skip over navigation
If you can see this your browser is probably an old one, and you are not seeing this website at it's best. We encourage you to update your browser by going to the "New Browsers" page, where you can find links to download the new free browser of your choice.

Security vs. Liberty

By Danny Graves

Security versus liberty. The tension of these two concepts has been vexing this country since our founding fathers wrote the Articles of Confederation, later the United States Constitution, even later the Bill of Rights.

Absolute liberty would be an anarchy - everyone does his own thing, unrestrained.Our forefathers recognized that civilization required a tradeoff, some personal liberty for some security. Benjamin Franklin expressed it (perhaps not verbatim) thusly: "A person who readily trades liberty for security deserves neither!"

History teaches us that our forefathers were more concerned about a strong, central government than any foreign nation or entity. This led to the Bill of Rights. Many Americans are under the misconception that we have our Bill of Rights to thank for our basic liberties, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, etc. Our forefathers recognized these rights are derived from our Creator. These same rights are also recognized as natural rights. We had these rights before our government was ever created! The Bill of Rights might be more accurately described as a Bill of Restrictions, for it places restrictions upon government, initially the federal government only, later expanded to state governments.

Incidents such as the awful tragedy of September 11, 2001 or the Murray building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, represent dangerous times. Americans who are frightened are more likely to allow their freedoms to be eroded. That is one reason our forefathers made it difficult to amend the United States Constitution.

Security and liberty are conflicting concepts which have vexed us for over two hundred years. Be aware that politicians, always riding the wave of popular sentiments, are more prone to allow the erosion of liberty in the name of security. One need look no further than the creation of Carnivore (addressed in an earlier newsletter of M-Ark) to see the possibilities of abuse by a strong central government. What we, as an American people must do, is remain as vigilant to encroachment by our own government as we are to terrorist attacks.