Freedom of Choice – Carmon Friedrich
When it comes to introducing myself, I don’t fit very neatly in the ideological boxes we like to create. My views on liberty make me a stranger to my conservative friends, and my Christian faith makes my liberty friends uncomfortable. I’m here today to talk about the freedom of choice. We are often told we have freedom of choice in this country, but in things that really matter, our choices are growing increasingly limited. Our choices are disappearing because we allow political agendas that ‘limit choice’ to control our lives.
When we think about ‘political choice’ we are limited to two parties. When we choose our media we are encouraged to pick between Fox News and CNN, to listen to NPR or Rush Limbaugh, to read the Huffington Post or Drudge Report. Yet if you want ice cream, or jelly beans, or a beverage with high fructose corn syrup, you have hundreds of choices before you. American Idol picks from thousands of choices, we have countless sports teams, and tabloids of reckless celebrities are plenty. Yet in things that matter, our choices are disappearing: the papers limit their criticisms to their opponents and give a pass to those who support their ideology. Some wars are wrong when one party starts them, but become justified when the other party continues them. Spending is under scrutiny when one party has the checkbook, yet the cause is legitimate under the next administration.
We didn’t always plan to have a large family, but once we got past two children, my husband and I figured we were already outnumbered. I am the mother of ten children, a choice that is constantly under attack in our modern world. While having a big family has been a blessing that fills my life with awe at God’s goodness to us, around the world and in our nation we can see this freedom of choice slipping away. Our large family is a crime in countries like China, where one-child policies remove any idea of liberty or choice for families there. China is a nation where political agendas have trumped individual liberties and led to the persecution of people who embrace their right to choose. One-child policies have led to brutal forced abortions by the Chinese government and the bodily mutilation of government-forced sterilizations.
China’s policy is built around a gender preference for males. China now has a dramatically malformed age and sex structure. Some ratios are now skewed toward 130 boys to every 100 girls. A deadly preference for males, achieved through sex-selective abortion, also is found in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Asia is now 160 million women who be alive if it wasn’t for this deadly practice.
Some have called this “woman-on-woman violence.” As cultures press for more males, pregnant women are forced to kill their unborn baby girls. This type of sex-selective abortion policy is anti-choice and it is anti-woman.
But sex selection and the culture behind the practice give rise to violence against women as well. In developing states, mothers known to be carrying girls sometimes face physical abuse, often in an attempt to induce an abortion. The lack of brides for “excess” males has created a veritable industry in sex trafficking throughout East Asia, especially to China and Taiwan, some of it forced.
Yet the real issue is responsibility, not just choice. One must take responsibility for one’s actions in order to preserve liberty. In the case of abortion that means protecting, not destroying, life.
Protecting life is deeper than party affiliation, deeper than rhetoric, and beyond all the talking points. When we decided to have ten children, we had the freedom of choice to decide how to raise them, and we welcomed that responsibility. When we talk about human dignity and individual freedom, we must understand that the men and women in this building behind me are our greatest threat. A government that wants to run our lives is a government that wants to limit choice and remove responsibility.
My husband and I homeschooled our ten children. Half of them were born at home. We have built a thriving business here in California, and we have worked hard to forge the bonds of a strong family.
Yet the men and women in this building behind me have — for decades — pushed their way into our home. They want to make my choices for me. They want to tell my husband how to run his business and decide how spend our hard-earned money. They mandate what foods I can and cannot feed my family by banning healthy raw foods and subsidizing GMO poisons. They are demanding I inject my children with toxins from infancy, and they want to force me to teach them what the state decides is necessary for a good education, through force making our family submit to every whim of the men and women here — even though they can’t even manage their own checkbook. Our family operates on a no-debt policy!
In limiting our freedom of choice, they destroy our character as individuals.
The choices I make in my kitchen, in my bedroom, or any room in my home are not under the jurisdiction of the men and women behind me. I’m not going to allow them to keeping robbing our freedom, and I’m going to continue teaching my children not to give that freedom away.
Try to rob a mother bear of her cubs and Mama responds with ferocious protection. We will not welcome state intrusion into our kitchens, into our bedrooms, or into our wombs.
As for our household, we will continue to fight for a generation that chooses to be responsible for its choices, and one that values life AND liberty.
We have all been told that the State knows what’s best for us and our families, and this is an absolute truth that we are not to question. Thus, an entire generation of people think the limited choices they are given are their only choice. They’ve been promised liberty to entice them into bondage, to blind them to their chains.
The route to free choice, for men and women, starts at home. It begins when we don’t have Big Brother mandating what is for dinner, what to teach our children, or even removing the choice to have those children at all, through explicit or implicit policies that make it difficult to sustain family life.
We must return again to the nurture and love of family and community, and abandon the slavery of the coercive boot camp of the state.
No young woman should be ashamed to say her goal is to be a wife and mother. Christians should encourage girls to look forward to those noble callings, not portraying marriage and motherhood as second best or second-rate with raised eyebrows or “what ifs.” True choice belongs to those who do no harm and refuse to allow the state to deprive anyone of their God-given rights. Let me leave you with a poem that eloquently reminds of …
The Need of the Hour
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)
What does our country need? Not armies standing
With sabers gleaming ready for the fight;
Not increased navies, skillful and commanding;
To bound the waters with an iron might;
Not haughty men with glutted purses trying
To purchase souls, and keep the power of the place;
Not jeweled dolls with one another vying
For palms of beauty, elegance, and grace.
But we want women, strong of soul, yet lowly
With that rare meekness, born of gentleness;
Women whose lives are pure and clean and holy,
The women whom all little children bless;
Brave, earnest women, helpful to each other,
With finest scorn for all things low and mean;
Women who hold the names of wife and mother
Far nobler than the title of a queen.
Oh! These are they who mould the men of story,
These mothers, oftime shorn of grace and youth,
Who, worn and weary, ask no greater glory
Than making some young soul the home of truth;
Who sow in hearts all fallow for the sowing
The seeds of virtue and of scorn for sin,
And, patient, watch the beauteous harvest growing
And weed out tares which crafty hands cast in.
Women who do not hold the gift of beauty
As some rare treasure to be bought and sold,
But guard it as a precious aid to duty—
The outer framing of the inner gold;
Women who, low above their cradles bending,
Let flattery’s voice go by, and give no heed,
While their pure prayers like incense are ascending
These are our country’s pride, our country’s need.