INTERVIEW: Justice Ken Wise, Justice 14th Court of Appeals, District 7 shares his thoughts on Freedom with Aubrey R. Taylor
AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What does freedom mean to you? JUSTICE KEN WISE: Freedom means the ability to achieve whatever you want and live however you want based on your own talent and willingness to work hard. The United States of America was founded on this ideal. Our founders desired a society with a very limited government designed only to protect the nation and foster the commerce that would help everyone succeed. Our founders wanted to avoid a big government, which restricts freedom. Our founders want to avoid oppressive and voluminous laws, which restrict freedom. I pray for a return to the idea that each of us can succeed if we respect each other, work hard and develop our talents. AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? JUSTICE KEN WISE: I am proud to be an American but even more than that I am so grateful to God for being born an American. No other country in the world gives its citizens the freedom we enjoy. The freedom to worship as we choose, build a business, raise a family, and do it all without a government directing how it is to be done is a precious state of affairs. I am proud of my country and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a small part of her government.
INTERVIEW: Philip Owens, a well-known Political Consultant and Campaign Strategist Shares his thoughts on Freedom AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What does freedom mean to you? PHILIP OWENS: Freedom is more than an idea, it is an ideal. 10
The Declaration of Independence begins with the fundamental truth that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Jefferson and the Founding Fathers recognized that no man or Government can take away what God has given. These are rights we have not just at the beginning of our nation’s life or when we may become a citizen. But something that we are given at our individual creation and even more so at the beginning of the creation of life itself. Consider that at the very beginning of man, and at the beginning of our life, we have the freedom to live a free life in pursuit of what makes us happy. America itself was founded upon that notion. In fact, these freedoms are so important that brothers went to war with brothers to ensure every American had these. I take that notion and the ideal of freedom very seriously and very personally. For me, freedom is not only my right, but the right of others. And it’s my duty to protect those rights; because, if freedom can be taken from someone else, it can be taken from me. Now people may forfeit their right to freedom by violating the rights and freedoms of others; but that is the consequences of their choosing. Government itself should protect our rights, but not interfere with or limit them. That’s why I think as we celebrate freedom we must also recognize the responsibility of being free. It is our duty to protect those rights by the wise exercising of them. But we cannot protect people from the outcome of poor choices by protecting or compensating them for making poor choices. Freedom means that I can make my life better by taking advantage of those rights, but not by taking advantage of others or their rights. Nelson Mandela said: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? PHILIP OWENS: I’m proud to be an American simply because I think this country has served as an at times imperfect, but enduring example of what can be accomplished by a free people
Our ONE AMERICA "Leaders Celebrating Freedom Together" series is currently underway inside Houston Business Connections Magazine, published...