A fundamental Freedom that this constitution gives all of us is the Freedom to Think, Believe in Something and Academic Freedom. To say that you have a Freedom of Thought is to say that every individual has the God-given right to exercise his thought on any subject, anything so long as you want to. No one can restrict you not to think about Jesus, equally, you cannot be punished if you think of something immoral unless by God. The important feature to note is that so long as you want, you can think of anything without restriction. Of course, as Christians, this freedom is still limiting to us. Because whereas no one will punish you for lecherously thinking about someone’s wife on this earth except if you act on those thoughts, you will be punished as a Christian for exercising such thought because they form the basis of your action.
The freedom given to us to believe is equally a universal freedom that gives a person the right to have his belief in anything. This is equal to the belief that Vincent has in Joy Daddy Bitters. Vincent has the right to believe that if he drinks a lot of Joy Daddy bitters his hair will grow, that is a fundamental right of his even though he may be very wrong. This freedom is quite separate from the freedom of religion which we shall tackle next week.
The third Freedom is to have a Conscience. Everyone has a right to exercise his conscience and this is so fundamental that in certain cases, this freedom has been upheld even against the legislation. Last week, the last of three war heroes of America, died. These three war heroes were given their medals and made heroes because they stood against their own countrymen. To date, America’s toughest war is arguably the war they fought in Vietnam. That war was a Gorilla Warfare that defied all the knowledge and training that the Americans had about Warfare. The tactics adopted by the Vietnamese Soldiers was to hide in bushes, caves, etc, shoot and kill the American Soldiers and disappear. A lot of the American Soldiers died in that war. Most of the Soldiers were outraged by the type of tactics adopted by the Vietnamese Soldiers so much so that they spent their spleen or anger on the Vietnamese civilians. Now, these American heroes were named as such because whereas some of their colleagues were angry and shooting dead the Vietnamese civilians they encountered, these three great American Soldiers braced themselves in-between their colleagues and the innocent Vietnamese civilians. They faced their colleagues until they stopped the massacre. They saved a lot of innocent Vietnamese lives that day. The importance of this story to the topic we are discussing is that these three American heroes exercised their conscience against all odds. They could easily have joined their colleagues in the milieu but they chose to do what was right even though it was a difficult choice. The Americans had been surprised and taught a lesson that Warfare was not like a boxing match where you could see your opponent and dish out nasty blows to him. Rather, it was like a ninja training where you did not see your opponent coming but you knew he was there when you realize you are dead.