America Freedom Quotes

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America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln
Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Martin Luther King Jr.
People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." [Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, February 26, 1962]
John F. Kennedy
Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom.
Ammar Habib (Mary Edwards Walker: America's Only Female Medal of Honor Recipient)
Without Thomas Jefferson and his Declaration of Independence, there would have been no American revolution that announced universal principles of liberty. Without his participation by the side of the unforgettable Marquis de Lafayette, there would have been no French proclamation of The Rights of Man. Without his brilliant negotiation of the Louisiana treaty, there would be no United States of America. Without Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, there would have been no Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, and no basis for the most precious clause of our most prized element of our imperishable Bill of Rights - the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Christopher Hitchens
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with vision of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three year down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not very popular one, who once has dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lied you head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiviness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obssesion for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art. LIVE FAST. DIE YOUNG. BE WILD. AND HAVE FUN. I believe in the country America used to be. I belive in the person I want to become, I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever- *I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself- I Ride. I Just Ride.* Who are you? Are you in touch with all your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you’re free to experience them? I Have. I Am Fucking Crazy. But I Am Free.
Lana Del Rey
Hundreds would die, but not the thing they died for.
Esther Forbes
Nothing will ruin the country if the people themselves will undertake its safety; and nothing can save it if they leave that safety in any hands but their own.
Daniel Webster
Boundaries are fears made manifest, designed to protect us. I don't want protection, I want freedom.
Terry Tempest Williams (The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks)
But in America the sovereignty of the people is neither hidden nor sterile as with some other nations; mores recognize it, and the laws proclaim it; it spreads with freedom and attains unimpeded its ultimate consequences.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
That we have made a hero of Howard Hughes tells us something interesting about ourselves, something only dimly remembered, tells us that the secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power’s sake (Americans are uneasy with their possessions, guilty about power, all of which is difficult for Europeans to perceive because they are themselves so truly materialistic, so versed in the uses of power), but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one’s own rules.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
The great masses, who have never been, in the history of mankind, more subject to hypnotic suggestion than they are right now, have become the puppets of the "public opinion" that is engineered by the newspapers in the service, it need hardly be emphasized, of the reigning powers of finance. What is printed in the morning editions of the big city newspapers is the opinion of nine out of ten readers by nightfall. The United States of America, whose more rapid "progress" enables us to predict the future on a daily basis, has pulled far ahead of the pack when it comes to standardizing thought, work, entertainment, etc. Thus, the United States in 1917 went to war against Germany in sincere indignation because the newspapers had told them that Prussian "militarism" was rioting in devilish atrocities as it attempted to conquer the world. Of course, these transparent lies were published in the daily rags because the ruling lords of Mammon knew that American intervention in Europe would fatten their coffers. Thus, whereas the Americans thought that they were fighting for such high-minded slogans as "liberty" and "justice," they were actually fighting to stuff the money bags of the big bankers. These "free citizens" are, in fact, mere marionettes; their freedom is imaginary, and a brief glance at American work-methods and leisure-time entertainments is enough to prove conclusively that l’homme machine is not merely imminent: it is already the American reality.
Ludwig Klages (Cosmogonic Reflections: Selected Aphorisms from Ludwig Klages)
The city was a real city, shifty and sexual. I was lightly jostled by small herds of flushed young sailors looking for action on Forty-Second Street, with it rows of x-rated movie houses, brassy women, glittering souvenir shops, and hot-dog vendors. I wandered through Kino parlors and peered through the windows of the magnificent sprawling Grant’s Raw Bar filled with men in black coats scooping up piles of fresh oysters. The skyscrapers were beautiful. They did not seem like mere corporate shells. They were monuments to the arrogant yet philanthropic spirit of America. The character of each quadrant was invigorating and one felt the flux of its history. The old world and the emerging one served up in the brick and mortar of the artisan and the architects. I walked for hours from park to park. In Washington Square, one could still feel the characters of Henry James and the presence of the author himself … This open atmosphere was something I had not experienced, simple freedom that did not seem oppressive to anyone.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
America is said to be the arena on which the battle of freedom is to be fought; but surely it cannot be freedom in a merely political sense that is meant. Even if we grant that the American has freed himself from a political tyrant, he is still the slave of an economical and moral tyrant. Now that the republic — the res-publica — has been settled, it is time to look after the res-privata, — the private state, — to see, as the Roman senate charged its consuls, "ne quidres-PRIVATA detrimenti caperet," that the private state receive no detriment.
Henry David Thoreau (Life Without Principle)
I know that of all the great shifts that have occurred in America--the freedom of slaves, the rights of women, the equality of gays and lesbians--none has happened easily, and certainly none has happened instantly and without serious attacks and backlash. But the reason we have these things is because the fair-minded people who came before us would not give up. In my life, I have seen elections stolen--either outright or through the electoral college. I have seen wars fought because there was no other way to get peace. I have seen the rich get richer and I have seen the poor get poorer. I have seen facts get harder and harder to hide--and easier and easier to manipulate. I have been angry and I have been frustrated and I have been ecstatic and I have been proven right and wrong and back again. I have given up on some things, but I have refused to give up on most things. And I can honestly say that all of it--all of it--seems to have led me to where we are, here and now.
David Levithan (Wide Awake)
My worst fear is that people will feel unheard, even if their opinions aren’t desirable. When people think of themselves as unheard, and their voices remain oppressed, they’ll speak in the only language in which all men are fluent: violence.
Seth Daniel Parker (The Greater Good: A Dystopian Novel of Divided America)
Principles of Liberty 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders. 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. 6. All men are created equal. 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. 14. Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the Igor of property is secure. 15. The highest level of securitiy occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. 16. The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people. 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. 21. Strong human government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. 23. A free society cannot survive a republic without a broad program of general education. 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
Founding Fathers
the Founders had enshrined the nation’s principles in the Declaration of Independence. Where in that document was the discussion of “free white men,” the editor asked. In it, he continued, “Is there an intimation about ‘the subject races,’ whether Indian or African? . . . Their ‘one guiding thought,’ as they themselves proclaimed it, was the inalienable right of ALL men to Freedom, as a principle.”[7]
Heather Cox Richardson (Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America)
In 1774, the year after her enslavers relinquished their claim on her, Boston poet Phillis Wheatley wrote to Mohegan cleric Samson Occom about the hypocrisy of leaders who rallied for freedom while practicing enslavement. “In every human Breast, God has implanted a Principle, which we call Love of Freedom; it is impatient of Oppression, and pants for Deliverance,” she wrote, adding, “I will assert, that the same Principle lives in us.
Heather Cox Richardson (Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America)
The tide of our national meanness rises incrementally, one brutalizing experience at a time, inside one person at a time in a chain of working-class Americans stretching back for decades. Back to the terror-filled nineteen-year-old girl from Weirton, West Virginia, who patrols the sweat-smelling halls of one of the empire's far-flung prisons at midnight. Back to my neighbor's eighty-year-old father, who remembers getting paid $2 apiece for literally cracking open the heads of union organizers at our textile and sewing mills during the days of Virginia's Byrd political machine. (It was the Depression and the old man needed the money to support his family.) The brutal way in which America's hardest-working folks historically were forced to internalize the values of a gangster capitalist class continues to elude the left, which, with few exceptions, understands not a thing about how this political and economic system has hammered the humanity of ordinary working people. Much of the ongoing battle for America's soul is about healing the souls of these Americans and rousing them from the stupefying glut of commodity and spectacle. It is about making sure that they—and we—refuse to accept torture as the act of "heroes" and babies deformed by depleted uranium as the "price of freedom." Caught up in the great self-referential hologram of imperial America, force-fed goods and hubris like fattened steers, working people like World Championship Wrestling and Confederate flags and flat-screen televisions and the idea of an American empire. ("American Empire! I like the sound of that!" they think to themselves, without even the slightest idea what it means historically.)
Joe Bageant (Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War)
Religious toleration, to a certain extent, has been won because people have ceased to consider religion so important as it was once thought to be. But in politics and economics, which have taken the place formerly occupied by religion, there is a growing tendency to persecution, which is not by any means confined to one party. The persecution of opinion in Russia is more severe than in any capitalist country. I met in Petrograd an eminent Russian poet, Alexander Block, who has since died as the result of privations. The Bolsheviks allowed him to teach aesthetics, but he complained that they insisted on his teaching the subject “from a Marxian point of view.” He had been at a loss to discover how the theory of rhythmics was connected with Marxism, although, to avoid starvation, he had done his best to find out.. The examples of America and Russia illustrate the conclusion to which we seem to be driven — namely, that so long as men continue to have the present fanatical belief in the importance of politics free thought on political matters will be impossible, and there is only too much danger that the lack of freedom will spread to all other matters, as it has done in Russia. Only some degree of political skepticism can save us from this misfortune.
Bertrand Russell (Free Thought and Official Propaganda)
In 1951, William F. Buckley Jr., a devout Catholic fresh out of Yale, the son of an oilman, suggested a new approach to destroying the liberal consensus. In God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom,” Buckley suggested that the whole idea that people would make good decisions through argument based on evidence—the Enlightenment idea that had shaped America since its founding—was wrong. Had that been true, Americans would not have kept supporting the government activism launched by the New Deal. Americans’ faith in reasoned debate was a worse “superstition,” he said, than the superstitions the Enlightenment had set out to replace.15 Rather than continuing to try to change people’s beliefs through evidence-based arguments, he said, those opposed to the New Deal should stand firm on an “orthodoxy” of religion and individualism and refuse to accept any questioning of those two fundamental p
Heather Cox Richardson (How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America)
More specifically, this book will try to establish the following points. First, there are not two great liberal social and political systems but three. One is democracy—political liberalism—by which we decide who is entitled to use force; another is capitalism—economic liberalism—by which we decide how to allocate resources. The third is liberal science, by which we decide who is right. Second, the third system has been astoundingly successful, not merely as a producer of technology but also, far more important, as a peacemaker and builder of social bridges. Its great advantages as a social system for raising and settling differences of opinion are inherent, not incidental. However, its disadvantages—it causes pain and suffering, it creates legions of losers and outsiders, it is disorienting and unsettling, it allows and even thrives on prejudice and bias—are also inherent. And today it is once again under attack. Third, the attackers seek to undermine the two social rules which make liberal science possible. (I’ll outline them in the next chapter and elaborate them in the rest of the book.) For the system to function, people must try to follow those rules even if they would prefer not to. Unfortunately, many people are forgetting them, ignoring them, or carving out exemptions. That trend must be fought, because, fourth, the alternatives to liberal science lead straight to authoritarianism. And intellectual authoritarianism, although once the province of the religious and the political right in America, is now flourishing among the secular and the political left. Fifth, behind the new authoritarian push are three idealistic impulses: Fundamentalists want to protect the truth. Egalitarians want to help the oppressed and let in the excluded. Humanitarians want to stop verbal violence and the pain it causes. The three impulses are now working in concert. Sixth, fundamentalism, properly understood, is not about religion. It is about the inability to seriously entertain the possibility that one might be wrong. In individuals such fundamentalism is natural and, within reason, desirable. But when it becomes the foundation for an intellectual system, it is inherently a threat to freedom of thought. Seventh, there is no way to advance knowledge peacefully and productively by adhering to the principles advocated by egalitarians and humanitarians. Their principles are poisonous to liberal science and ultimately to peace and freedom. Eighth, no social principle in the world is more foolish and dangerous than the rapidly rising notion that hurtful words and ideas are a form of violence or torture (e.g., “harassment”) and that their perpetrators should be treated accordingly. That notion leads to the criminalization of criticism and the empowerment of authorities to regulate it. The new sensitivity is the old authoritarianism in disguise, and it is just as noxious.
Jonathan Rauch (Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought)
...we've thought of living creatures as mere resources in an economy designed to enrich us, and that has produced one ugly, depraved story after another, a history of inhumanity perpetrated by ordinary Americans in the name of freedom and the market, its cruelty and barbarism as often as not endorsed by government and sometimes even carried out by its agents. This is how we de-buffaloed, de-pigeoned, de-wolfed America.
Dan Flores (Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals and People in America - Library Edition)
Famously, in 1852, formerly enslaved maritime worker Frederick Douglass asked, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” He honored the Founders as “great men” but asked: “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?”[3]
Heather Cox Richardson (Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America)
In America these days, freedom for those who are functionally disabled, incapable of keeping body and soul together, means the freedom to commit suicide with a bottle on a public sidewalk while the world walks around them.
Stephen Coonts (The Minotaur (Jake Grafton, #3))
She was familiar with a certain type of American crazy. Gun crazy was normal to her, shooting-kids-at-school or putting-on-a-Joker-mask-and-mowing-people-down-in-a-mall or just plain murdering-your-mom-at-breakfast crazy, Second Amendment crazy, that was just the everyday crazy that kept going down and there was nothing you could do about it if you loved freedom; and she understood knife crazy from her younger days in the Bronx, and the knockout-game type of crazy that persuaded young black kids it was cool to punch Jews in the face. She could comprehend drug crazy and politician crazy and Westboro Baptist Church crazy and Trump crazy because those things, they were the American way, but this new crazy was different. It felt 9/11 crazy: foreign, evil.
Salman Rushdie (Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights)
Enlightenment thinkers had rejected leadership based on religion or birth, arguing instead that society moved forward when people made good choices after hearing arguments based on fact. But this Enlightenment idea must be replaced, Buckley argued in God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom,” because Americans kept choosing the liberal consensus, which, to his mind, was obviously wrong. He concluded that the nation’s universities must stop using the fact-based arguments that he insisted led to “secularism and collectivism,” and instead teach the values of Christianity and individualism. His traditional ideology would create citizens who would vote against the “orthodoxy” of the liberal consensus, he said. Instead, they would create a new orthodoxy of religion and the ideology of free markets.[5
Heather Cox Richardson (Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America)
one of America’s secrets is that the dreams of Huck and Ahab are not always very far apart. Both of them embody an impulse to freedom, an escape from restraints and authority that sometimes seems like the only really American story there is.
Greil Marcus (Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music: Sixth Edition)
one of America’s secrets is that the dreams of Huck and Ahab are not always very far apart. Both of them embody an impulse to freedom, an escape from restraints and authority that sometimes seems like the only really American story there is. That one figure is passive and benign, the other aggressive and in the end malignant; the one full of humor and regret, and the other cold and determined never to look back; the one as unsure of his own authority as he is of anyone else’s, the other fleeing authority only to replace it with his own—all this hides the common bond between the two characters, and suggests how strong would be a figure who could put the two together. For all that is different about Ahab and Huck Finn, they are two American heroes who say, yes, they will go to hell if they have to.
Greil Marcus (Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music: Sixth Edition)
What matters about Frank is the sense of freedom he brought to his music: a good-natured contempt for conventional patterns of life combined with a genius for transforming all that was smug and polite into absurdity. The result was a music of staggering weirdness, dimly anchored by the fatalism of the blues and powered by the pure delight of what was soon to be called rock ’n’ roll. Frank wasn’t sexy, like the rockabilly singers who were to make Sam Phillips’s fortune; he was more like a dirty old man. He was ribald, and he had a flair. “I am,” he growled in one of his numbers, “a howling tomcat.
Greil Marcus (Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music: Sixth Edition)