Freedom without limits leads to uncertain living


Freedom without limits is no freedom at all.

Our great American disaster is the pursuit of freedom apart from responsibility. There is no dispute that freedom is the most important value of the American character. It is the principle on which our country is founded.

Freedom without limits leads to uncertain living. Children misbehave, not because they are bad, but because they don’t know what their boundaries are. If boundaries are not set, children will continue to test the limits, even to their own detriment.

The limits of acceptable behavior are changing. That’s why LGB has grown to LGBTQ, and keeps expanding. Some of the changes are undoubtedly good. It is wrong to belittle or discriminate.

However, acceptance of homosexual or transgender rights has become a kind of litmus test of moral integrity. It seems the only morally correct position has become support of lifestyles identified as LGBTQ.

It is as if the only significant freedom is the freedom to use your sex organs as you please.

Harry Truman once said, “Everybody has a right to express what he thinks. That, of course, lets the crackpots in. But if you cannot tell a crackpot when you see one, then you ought to be taken in.”

We’ve let the crackpots in.

Rates of marriage are declining so precipitously that the institution of marriage will be obsolete by 2050. Yet the litmus test for morality is accepting gay marriage. The great moral crusade of recent weeks has been legislating the use of public restrooms. We don’t know who’s supposed to use which bathroom because we have torn down every sexual boundary. Like children whose parents do not place limits on their behavior our society keeps testing the limits, to our own detriment.

The rights and freedoms of the majority are guaranteed when the rights and freedoms of the minority are respected, but rights come with responsibility. We are more than our sex organs. Somehow we have to get past the concern for rights to the concern for responsibility.

Bill Reagan is executive director of Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley.