By Jennifer Hicks

When our government poses threats to our unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, then it is our right to withdraw our consent to adhere to a system of government which has grown destructive and which infringes upon our rights. That "when" is NOW. It isn't a hypothetical. It isn't coming at some time in the future. IT IS HERE. In Nebraska, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness are under attack. And our currently elected Republicans have failed to defend us against such threats.

Our government only exists because we allow it to. Government derives its power and authority from US. We the People. We decide. Freedom, like God's forgiveness, is not bestowed upon anyone. We have the RIGHT to both, but we are entitled to neither freedom nor forgiveness without an exercise of the use of our free will to CLAIM them.

We must CLAIM, USE, and DEFEND our rights. CLAIMING your rights means that you know what your rights are. USING your rights means that you make it clear to others, when necessary and appropriate, that you know what your rights are. (Silence and inaction are surrender.) DEFENDING your rights means taking necessary actions to ensure that your rights are protected.

The responsibility is your own. We are suffering right now the consequences of our laziness and our willingness to outsource the protection of our freedom to others. And look where that has gotten us. We seek to blame others, but in large part the fault is our own for continuing to grant consent to those who have led us down this path. With the exception of the actions I have taken over the past year, I am as guilty as anyone else for having done this. But as I have pointed to already, freedom and forgiveness are both ours if we but claim them.So instead of beating ourselves up for getting too comfortable and letting down our guard, let's acknowledge our own failures and our own part in having become lazy and having given our consent to those whom we should not have. Let's accept forgiveness, which is our right if we but ASK for it, and let's chart a new path forward that is an active one of claiming, using, and defending our rights.

There will be consequences in the future for the decisions that we make (or fail to make) right now. Whether those resulting actions are positive or negative will depend upon us and on whether or not we choose to do what is necessary to protect and defend our freedoms, which are rapidly being stripped away. If we don't take action, our freedoms will further erode and we will continue to fight battle after battle on a playing field that is never going to tilt in our favor.

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” ― Patrick Henry

The above quote is one that I would implore every Nebraskan to reflect upon. Is your life so dear that you would exchange your freedom for temporary comfort and choose to live as a slave, dependent upon the will of others? 

* This commentary was originally posted on Facebook on 11/13/21

* The email will not be published on the website.