We all hear the word “freedom” bandied about often enough, but what does the word actually mean to you?

The principal author of the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, may have said it best.

“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”

While sitting in my “Men of Truth” class in church this past Sunday, I thoughtfully considered the greatest freedom of all – the ability to choose one’s path in life.

Now, the ability to choose our own belief system is a God-given right which no man should be able to abrogate. And the freedom to express or exercise our religious faith is certainly an integral derivative of the process. But simply believing isn’t enough!

Dr. Steve Nutter, our class teacher and mentor, used believing in God as an example of how we must each put our faith into action. “Believing isn’t enough,” Dr. Nutter paraphrased from the Bible, the Book of James. “Even the demons believe, and they tremble in terror.”

It’s how we put our Godly belief system into action that fosters God’s consummate freedom in our lives.

The freedom from bondage and addiction are, in essence, the temporal chains of this world. One could argue these worldly obstructions are meant to create a communication barrier between us and God, deafening us to potentially life-changing inspiration from our creator.

And then there’s the freedom to prosper and grow in an environment that nurtures and rewards hard work. Capitalism is certainly the quintessential example of this freedom in America, although under attack by the progressive movement.

A freedom which I consider to be the antithesis of all virtuous freedoms is the freedom from the rule of law and accountability. This nefarious, illicit freedom fosters suppression of principled, lawful ones. Probably the most prominent example of our day is the right to exercise your religious freedom.

Let’s be constitutionally honest, shall we? How can “freely exercising your religious beliefs, outside of any government interference,” be interpreted as “Congress making a law that shows respect to one religion over another?”

I’ll tell you how. We allowed it to happen.

The desire for freedom, while inherent in us all, may be driven by the wrong conviction. Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Someone always wants to take it away.

So, beginning today, what will you do with your freedom?

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger and a Cabell County resident.