BreakingNews 17/7/16: Nigerians fight for your freedoms or continue to live in bondage

[ Masterweb Reports: C. K. Ekeke reports ] - I am not a Muslim or an Islamic scholar, but as a Christian and a biblical scholar, I can say without hesitation that one of the central messages of Christian Scripture – the Holy Bible is the subject of freedom. There are hundreds of subjects that are taught in the Bible and one of the central themes and purposes of God for mankind is freedom. 

 


We see that from creation of man, to the call of Abraham, to deliverance of the Israelites from many of their bondages and captivities.  In fact, the central purpose of God for human-beings is to be free.  Whether we are talking about freedom of choice, freedom from sin, freedom from self , and freedom from Satan for which Jesus Christ was born into this world, and for which He courageously accomplished by dying on the Cross. 

 


The Apostle Paul clearly stated this primary purpose when he wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery” – Galatians 5:1.

 


In Second Corinthians 3:17, he added this statement: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

 


Freedom is therefore, the central theme and the most important value proposition of the Christian faith. Freedom is the essence of Christianity and it is what distinguishes it from all other religions on the planet.

 


Samuel Bowles, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, said “the cause of freedom is the cause of God.”

 


Being redeemed and set free from sin, self and Satan is the ultimate goal of Christian faith. Freedom in its true sense is a quality of God, just as love, grace, beauty, harmony, joy; abundance and peace are qualities of God.

 


Thomas Jefferson said, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.”
Freedom, liberty, justice and righteousness are the very nature and essence of who we are as human beings and as children of God.

 


This article is not necessarily about the theology of freedom.  That may be a topic for another time. 

 


For the purposes of this essay, let us examine briefly through the history of human race. 

 


Throughout human history, people and nations have paid the ultimate price fighting for freedom and for their liberties.  Millions have died fighting for freedom and in pursuit of justice.  Nearly all wars between peoples, communities, and nations have been fought because of land ownership, control of natural resources, struggle for power and authority, and quest for freedom. 

 


For instance, the major part of the 16th and 17th centuries witnessed an astonishing moments in the history of human race as nations battle each other for power and dominance.  These empires –Babylon, Rome, Ottoman, Greece, etc., ruled the world during their time because of their strength and power. 

 


In the 20th century, human race also witnessed astounding moments of conquest as well as collapse of empires.  For instance the rise of America as the only super power and collapse of the communist despotic rule in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union - aka “evil empire” are prime examples.  It would be hard to overstate the significance of freedom for the affected nations or the world in general.

 


For years, philosophers, scholars and thinkers have argued and debated that human freedom is the supreme value of the human soul. It is the yearning of every human heart – whether poor or rich. All human beings possess the same inert desire – to be free, to pursue unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because the human spirit is endowed by its Creator with the desire to be free to pursue life, joy, peace and prosperity. In nutshell, freedom is the ultimate pursuit of the human spirit.

 


Because of the supreme value of freedoms and liberties, the United Nations produced a document called: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.”
It recognizes the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

 


For instance:
Article (1) affirms that:  “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” 
Article (3) states that: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
Article (9) states that: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” 

 


You can read more on the thirty articles here: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

 


Today, the United States of America is the champion for freedom and liberty worldwide. There used to be a popular American TV commercial that starts with this statement: ‘There are two things Americans got right – cars and freedom.”
Human freedom is the greatest ideal of the American society and the essence and beauty their democracy.  It is also the glory of free-market society economy.  And that is the ideal that attracts millions of people around the world to emigrate or seek refuge in the United States.

 


For instance, in their most famous and sacrosanct document – the Constitution, there is a sticking paragraph that is idolized by every single American and it reads:
 “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”

 


This past Fourth of July, the United States celebrated her 240 years of independence from Britain.  Americans celebrate their freedom and independence with pomp and fanfare of parades, bands marching and singing, foods, barbecues, picnics and family gatherings that include holiday fun and history, gifts, pictures, crafts, games, and entertaining ideas. Adults, young boys and girls will reflect on freedoms enjoyed by the US citizens.

 


The National Anthem will be sung and thousands of foreigners seeking to be United States citizen will joyfully recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States:

 


 “I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”
However, despite the tremendous progress that has been made in the United States by electing the first Black man to be president, Police brutality and racial divide continue to ravage the American society.  These recent shootings including the killings of five White Police officers in Dallas Texas, have raised a strong awareness that there is a serious racial divide in America. 

 


Today, Americans are gathering in town halls and organizing seminars, conferences to continue to dialogue, debate and discuss on ways to battle against institutional racism and systemic injustice, how to improve race relations and create a fair and equitable society. 

 


In her latest controversial album – Lemonade, the global icon and superstar  singer and dancer, Beyoncé, joined with Kendrick Lamar, another super star song writer  in their first ever collaboration song titled “Freedom.” 

 


The chorus reads:
[Chorus: Freedom]
Freedom! Freedom! I can't move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!
I break chains all by myself
Won't let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I'ma keep running
Cause a winner don't quit on themselves 


 
The entire lyrics of Beyoncé’s freedom song focused on “women’s issues, touched on institutionalized racism and social equality justice” along with other challenges affecting Black women in America and around the world. “Throughout the song, Beyoncé alludes to herself as a force of nature who can empower other women like herself to break free of the bonds society places on them. She addresses her struggle with infidelity as a black woman, as well as alluding to the history of slavery inflicted upon African-Americans, including current issues and the Black Lives Matter movement.”

 


Despite these kinds of lyrics, songs and hundreds of civil rights leaders and organizations that bring to fore

 
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