Does the law make you free?

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From my birth until the present moment, I have lived in only one country, the United States of America. 

Are our freedoms shaped by the law of the land?

The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land and its Preamble includes such words as: 

We the people…

Establish justice …

Insure domestic tranquility…

Provide for the common defense…

Promote general welfare…

Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity … 

The Constitution grants a number of freedoms: speech, assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The laws, stated in bold and powerful terms, are designed for our protection and should have positive impacts on all United States citizens. However, I wonder if these freedoms and laws were intended to include African-Americans.

Historically, African Americans have had to fight, protest and pray for every freedom.  These victories were not easy to attain. As religious people, we realize that we have consistently leaned on the Lord and His word. Our faith has been a driving force behind all we have achieved. We have looked to the Scriptures for our strength. One verse that helps us focus is Galatians 5:1a NIV. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.”

The First Amendment of the Constitution, clearly states that citizens have a right to peacefully assemble. Recent protests have been peaceful assemblies. These protests bring to the forefront  injustices, particularly treatment of African American persons by law enforcement agents in this country. On the other hand, we have seen evidence of law officers responding alongside of peaceful demonstrators. They have joined the efforts of protesters by taking a knee, praying with them, and shedding tears. In addition, there has been overhauling of some police departments.   

As I reflect on freedoms and the laws as stated in the Constitution, should we, in the year 2020, be viewing a public lynching that went viral through television and social media? Over the years, African-Americans have suffered brutalities and deaths at the hands of law officers, the very population responsible for protecting all Americans. The “straw that broke the camel’s back” was the public viewing of Mr. George Floyd’s arrest and allegedly death by asphyxiation.

This incident led to worldwide protests and investigations into law enforcement policies and practices all over America. It is time for America to have a clear bout of soul searching.

I personally look forward to major, dramatic reduction and eventual elimination of racism and injustice because I try to follow God’s command stated in the words of Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

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