Against Limiting Individual Freedom

Against Limiting Individual Freedom

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Against Limiting Individual Freedom
Individual freedom is one of the primary reasons our country was
founded. Fed up with legislation such as the Quartering Act and
Townsend Duties, our Founding Fathers penned the Declaration of
Independence in order to establish a nation where everybody has the
right to pursue happiness. However, people now feel that there should
be limits on individual freedoms. It seems when one person's views
offend them, they think a law should be written to prohibit those
views. What they do not understand is that legislation limiting
individual freedom only opens the door to limiting important freedoms
in the future. Individual freedoms such as the freedom of speech, gay
marriage, and freedom of religion should never be limited as long as
they do not have a noticeable directly negative effect on the rest of

Many people would choose to restrict the freedom of speech. Parents
are outraged when TV shows used expletive words. Schools and libraries
install internet filters to prevent children from material they deem
"inappropriate". What they do not realize is that ensuring that their
child is sheltered from obscenity is their responsibility, not the
government's. Additionally, giving up freedom for security is
dangerous. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who give up essential
liberties for security deserve neither security nor liberty."
(Franklin) In the novel Anthem, the Saint of the Pyre was executed for

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merely speaking the Unspeakable Word. Not only was he executed, but he
also had his tongue cut out. (Rand 49-50) While this seems impossible
in modern-day society, limiting the freedom of speech paves the way to
completely obliterate freedom in the future. Restricting the freedom
of speech is dangerous and contradictory towards our Founding Father's
original plans.

Gay marriage is another very controversial topic that could have
extreme repercussions on future legislation. The thing is, gay
marriage does not affect others in a negative way. Laws are made to
protect people. Speed limits protect citizens from reckless drivers;
public smoking laws protect citizens from second-hand smoke. Gay
marriage has no adverse effects on society. In fact, prohibiting it
has the potential to cause harmful effects on gay couples. They are
often not allowed to visit their significant others in the hospital,
and they are not covered by their significant other's insurance.
Furthermore, prohibiting two people from being bound together also
paves the way for future laws. In Anthem, the only time men and women
are allowed to be together is in the House of Mating, which was
described by Equality as a shameful place. (Rand 41) Again, though it
may sound ludicrous that something like that could happen in our
current world, things do not happen all at once. Radicals gain power
bit by bit.

Finally, freedom of religion should never be limited, and separation
of church and state should continue to be a priority. Every individual
has the right to worship or not worship as he/she pleases. School and
government should be free from religious influences. Even when a group
is the majority, their views should not be forced upon others.
Religious freedom was one of the primary goals of our ancestors. They
believed people should be able to worship or not worship as they
pleased. Though some would say that freedom of religion does not mean
freedom from religion, many of our founding fathers were Deist, which
is much closer to atheism, than religious. (Tiller) In Anthem, there
is not a formal religion; however, the society is taught to worship
the great "We". Everybody in the book's society lives for everyone
else. (Rand 19) However, this form of worship does not satisfy
everybody. People need to be able to worship or not worship according
to their own beliefs. Otherwise, there will always be conflict between

Overall, individual freedoms should not be limited because doing so
opens the doors to complete violations of liberty in the future.
Extreme shifts in political views do not occur all at once. An overall
change in mindset happens over a long period of time. By ensuring that
our freedoms are not ever limited, we can ensure that they will never
be eliminated. On the contrary, if continue to let our individual
freedoms limited, we can bet that someday we will look back and wonder
what happened to the liberties we once enjoyed.
Works Cited

Franklin, Benjamin. Benjamin Franklin Quotes - The Quotations Page. 3
Apr. 1999. The

Quotations Page. 30 Nov. 2004.


Till, Farrell. The Christian Nation Myth. 7 May 2003. 29
Nov. 2004.

Rand, Ayn. Anthem. New York City, NY: Signet Book, 1961.
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