We, in the Liberty movement, like to consider ourselves champions of freedom of choice in all things. Think what you will; say what you will; act how you will so long as your actions do not violate the rights of other individuals. Some of us would like to consider ourselves willing to fight for this basic right of freedom of expression and belief. There are some who would even think to die for such a premise. Our history shows us that others have done such and as a result birthed what we call America.
But questions arise as we see how far departed from the basic principles of Rightful Liberty our nation is. The socio/cultural structure of our day is vastly different from that of our Founding Fathers. The cause of this enormous shift can be debated as to whether it was purposefully engineered, or morphed into what it is due to neglect, or developed through any combination of influences. Thankfully, that is not the purpose of this post.
I'm here mainly to offer up an opinion - one man's opinion - on just how far Rightful Liberty extends. You may have other ideas in both allowances and restrictions and valid basis for both. I'm not here to debate your views nor their basis. Therein lies the shining beauty of Rightful Liberty - the right to think, say and act in accordance with one's own conscience while observing and respecting the same of others.
Having basically explained my perception of Rightful Liberty, it may be to our advantage then to ask, "where did such a foundational life principle come from?" Did it originate in the minds of the Founding Fathers? Was it granted to us in any singular or collection of documents authored by those or other men? This "life principle", as I call it, must have had it's origin somewhere and I believe that in discovery of that origin we can more easily determine it's boundaries - if there be any.
Inseparable from the discussion of Rightful Liberty is discussion of basic human nature. Each of us as individuals expect - even demand - that we be unrestricted in thought, word and deed to be who we believe ourselves to be; to carry on our lives as we singularly see fit; to exercise our own individual conscience.
A word of caution as we begin: let's not confuse the principle of Rightful Liberty with one's choice to live under circumstances and/or in situations that we personally may find intolerable because of the consequences. Rightful Liberty includes the unrestricted ability to make choices whether anyone else agrees with or likes those choices or whether said choices bring consequences we may think unacceptable.
So, where did our Rightful Liberty get it's start?