This Modern Age

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Elegant Freedom

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My wife loves Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My girls (4 and 5 years old) get a strong dose of Mrs. Wilder everyday and I pray that it sticks in their souls.

In Little Town on the Prarie Laura offers the following observation about freedom on the Fourth of July: 

…Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought.  The Declaration and the song (My Country, ’tis of Thee) came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king.

She thought: Americans won’t obey any king on earth.  Americans are free.  That means they have to obey their own consciences.  No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself.  Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders.  I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to lighten up by that thought.  This is what it means to be free.  It means, you have to be good. ‘Our father’s God, author of liberty-‘ The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty.  Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.

Laura had no time to think any further….


Carrie, Laura, Grace

The Ingalls Family: Seated from left: Ma (Caroline), Pa (Charles), Mary, Standing from left: Carrie, Laura, Grace

Written by thismodernage

July 29, 2008 at 3:08 am