Photo of the American Flag
(Photo : Jnn13/Wikimedia/CC)
A photo of the American flag taken on March 2009/

Fourth of July marks the moment in history when representatives of a new government uprising signed the Declaration of Independence in the United States on July 4, 1776. The document listed grievances suffered by the U.S. colonies under British monarchy and justified a desire for liberty. It was penned by Thomas Jefferson. Also known as Independence Day, it is an annual holiday that symbolizes freedom. It is celebrated nationwide in 2015 on Saturday, July 4.

Although declared in 1776, Americans were not delivered from bondage until 1783. The high cost of freedom was paid for in blood, in what historians estimate to be the death of 25,000 American Patriots. It took eight years, four months, and fifteen days of war between America and Great Britain during the American Revolution to be fully attained.

The Oxford dictionary defines freedom as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” It is also defined as the “absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government,” and “the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.” Christianity Daily compiled a list of Bible verses and quotes that shed light on the true meaning of freedom.

10 Bible Verses on Freedom:

1) “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” – Psalm 118:5

2) “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

3) “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

4) “…our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus…” – Galatians 2:4

5) “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36

6) “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2

7) “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:13

8) “To Him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.” – Acts 10:43

9) “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” – Romans 6:6-7

10) “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” – Romans 8:15

Photo of the Washington Monument
(Photo : U.S. Airforce/Wikimedia/CC)
4th of July fireworks at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. on July 1986.

Quotes on Freedom::

1) “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

2) “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln.

3) “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.” -John Basil Barnhill

4) “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -George Orwell

5) “My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.” -Adlai Stevenson

6) “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” -Nelson Mandela

7) “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” –Justice Louis Brandeis

8) “I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” -Ronald Reagan

9) “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” -George Bernard Shaw

10) “Economic freedom is … an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.” –Milton Friedman

11) “When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frédéric Bastiat

12) “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

13) “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.” –Hubert H. Humphrey

14) “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” –John Adams

15) “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” -Benjamin Franklin

Photo of the Declaration of Independence
(Photo : Library of Congress/Wikimedia/CC)
A photo of the Declaration of Independence taken in Washington, D.C. in 1823.

Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”