For the citizen in the kingdom of heaven, freedom is an inalienable right. It is his right to enjoy all the privileges of his citizenship. But such freedom does not mean license, nor does it mean deprivation of the rights of others.
We need to be alert to claim our rights by recognizing them and utilizing them. We know that as children of divine Love we are enfolded in that Love, sustained, directed, supplied by it. In the proportion that we understand these spiritual facts, we manifest compassion, tenderness, forgiveness, which are indicative of the abundant goodness of God’s loving-kindness to all His children.
May we wholeheartedly “accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free!” Let us claim, with joyous gratitude, man’s inalienable rights.
From the September 1957 issue of The Christian Science Journal
Checking In on
After President Trump’s executive order, I
visited an icon of welcome for immigrants.
After we arrived at Liberty Island, I crisscrossed the park there, thinking about what the statue meant to me and trying to make pictures that reflected what she looks and feels like in this time and place.
“Before, when I used to come to New York and we’d take the ferry and see the Statue of Liberty it was more of a happy, proud and touristy feeling,” she said. “But it just symbolizes so much more today and over the past couple of weeks. And now it’s a humbling and sad feeling mixed in with the pride of what our country actually should stand for.”
On the ferry ride back, as the boat approached Battery Park, I could hear a mass of protesters voicing opposition to the executive order. Morgan Jenness was there, clutching a makeshift torch and reciting Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on Lady Liberty’s pedestal:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
“Not,” Ms. Jenness stressed, “the closed door.”
I sensed that Ms. Jenness was an aficionado of all things Lady Liberty. So, I had to ask, had her view of the statue changed?
“I feel it’s tarnished,” she said. “We’ve tarnished it.”
Could it be cleaned up, I wondered?
“It can,” she said, standing amid a cheering crowd of protesters. “We’ve got a lot of people, with a lot of rags.”