Independence Day evokes thoughts of patriotism, liberty, and courage, but these virtues are not exclusive to the American Revolution. They can be found in cities like Prague and Budapest, in a square called Tiananmen, and at a crumbling wall in Berlin. The virtues of which I speak do not belong to one political party or candidate. They are as old as the scriptures from which comes the declaration etched upon the Liberty Bell, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." As the world watches recent events in Iran we expose ten enemies of freedom.
1. Religious suppression.
2. Censorship of the press.
3. Excessive force on peaceful protestors.
4. Imprisonment for challenging the government.
5. Oppression on the basis of gender, class, or race.
6. Corruption and influence peddling.
7. Elections that lack genuine accountability
8. Violations of civil and human rights.
9. The silencing of a voice and a vote.
10. Apathy and fear.
The American colonists dared to believe in a day when oppression would end and the will of the people would reign. As citizens of the United States we must join with those brave individuals around the globe who call for freedom and liberty in their home countries. We must raise our voices in moral outrage each time one is imprisoned or killed simply because that person wants to be granted human rights. To do otherwise is to betray the devotion and sacrifice of those who made our freedom possible.
Bill Shuler is Senior Pastor at Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia.