THE BLOG
07/03/2011 06:27 pm ET | Updated Sep 02, 2011

Reflections on Independence Day

On Independence Day, I ask you to think about how many freedoms we have and how many we're in danger of losing. Every day, the right wing moralists are trying to chip away at our basic civil liberties. They're trying to restrict women's access to healthcare, strip workers of their ability to earn a living wage and pass laws about who you can marry.

The right wing is fond of saying that freedom isn't free. And they're right. It isn't. We see it in the cost of the lives of brave men and women in uniform. But it's more that. I've said this many times, the freedom on which this country was founded is not the just freedom for the thoughts we love and agree with, it's freedom for the thoughts we hate the most. That too is a cost of freedom which must be paid by everyone.

Today as we pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifices made to build this nation, it is important that we remember the full cost of liberty, and not forget that independence is more readily available when people remain focused on the fullest pursuit of their own happiness rather than condemning the way others pursue theirs.

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