The great and noble effort by Canadians during the past couple of years to remove the shackles of the Canadian Human Rights Commissions cannot end in a simple legal fiction which treats freedom as an end itself. Freedom – true freedom – is not an end but a means. It is a valid instrument exercised by a free people for the pursuit of the truth. But, as with all instruments, it can be abused to such an extent that its abuse can become the precursor towards enslavement in almost every area of human existence – spiritual, psychological, moral, and material.
The great danger of modern times is to either suppress freedom for some purported good, or to treat its exercise in an absolute way as if it has no legitimate moral boundaries. In the end, both philosophies end up in the grips of tyranny. The human rights thug wishes to impose an arbitrary system of “human rights” which tyrannizes the population by the very system he operates within, while the “free speech absolutist” tears down the boundaries of authentic freedom by eschewing the moral virtues of justice and decency. He may even have little regard for the truth. In the end, both systems end up in the tyrannical gutter. The latter system simply takes a little longer to ripen.
For those of us who have fought the thuggery of the HRCs, we must be wary that any mere legal victory will not keep the totalitarians at bay unless we all recognize that freedom without the truth is a cheap, legal fiction. It will not survive unless it is at the service, and not the master, of the truth.
Genuine freedom is found in truth. And truth is only found in God. That’s why Jesus says, “the truth will set you free“. No human government or even human philosophy sets us free. Only God can truly set us free because He is the author of authentic freedom.
True freedom always has a moral component, while the false freedom that the world offers can only bound us to a moral tyranny. It seeks to enslave us, first, in substance and then later “on paper”. Our ultimate goal is to be set free from the corruption within so that this genuine freedom then becomes reflected in the culture at large. It’s inside-out, not outside-in.