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The Four Freedoms Under Attack
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From FDR's Inaugural Address:

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb [can you imagine in today's dumbed-down world any politician using "antithesis"?]

The first freedom, freedom of speech and expression, is our most basic freedom. It seems to me that, in spite of efforts to shackle them, the internet and the social networking services have done a great deal in the service of free expression. The worst attacks upon the freedom of speech have come as ad hominem arguments, in which an idea is denigrated based upon the identity of the person who proposed it. But have you noticed that you are reluctant to express your real opinions in certain circles? I wanted to title this "The Real Terrorists" and talk about a set of politicians, but I feared to attract unwanted official attention.

The second freedom, the freedom of religion, is definitely under attack. If you are not Christian, the evangelical type, you are under suspicions. An atheist could never be elected president. A Muslim runs the risk of personal assault just in the course of his/her daily activities. An Unitarian Universalist is accused of being a cult member. Pretty soon it becomes easier and less threatening to remain silent about your personal religious beliefs—and the freedom of speech is under assault once again.

The third freedom, the freedom from want, is laughed at by the political thugs. Hungry children? Homeless persons? Sick, old, in need of health care? Let them eat cake. We have ours, and those who need public assistance are just drains on the economy, looking for a free handout. I’d like to see a country, a world, where people have the basic necessities: food, clothing, housing, medical care, education. It’s criminal that in a country as wealthy as ours, those necessities are not provided.

The fourth freedom, the freedom from fear, is the one most obviously tossed in the dustbin. We are constantly harangued by the political extremists to be afraid of everything, our world falling apart at the seams right before our eyes. People who are afraid, fearful of what the future may bring, cannot think clearly and seek reassurance regardless of its source.

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