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Conversation with President Roosevelt

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By Sunday, Jul 2, 2017 We the People 7

Freedom of speech

Freedom of worship

Freedom from want

Freedom from fear

So, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, how do you think we are doing? Do you think we are moving closer or further away from living these freedoms of yours? Have we gotten better or worse at insuring them for others here and abroad? … Yes, I’m sure you have been reading the headlines… I’d like to give you a positive update, but I just can’t. I suppose that many people would say that our country comes closer to realizing these freedoms than any other, but I really don’t know if that’s true… Yes, there are some Americans who that work tirelessly to realize and insure these freedoms for themselves and others but the thing is, President Roosevelt, there are other people — too many other people — who erode, reject, dismiss these freedoms out of hand. There are even people who manipulate the Four Freedoms for the sole purpose of insuring their personal gain. I could go through a litany of examples of how we are embracing these freedoms and how we are not, but you already know all of that. What I do have to tell you is that many of us are broken and discouraged by how this ideal you set forth is losing its footing…But, I did have one idea. Tell me what you think of it…Suppose we added one more freedom to your list. What if we were to add Freedom to Love? I am not talking about romance or dancing through daisy fields. I am taking about boots on the ground love. Love that intercedes when freedom of speech is denied. Love that demands respect for all faith traditions. Love that opens our eyes and engages our efforts in response to the needs of others. Love that stands up to fear no matter what form it takes when it raises its ugly head. Suddenly, the Four Freedoms would become enlivened and not just a mirror to reflect our personal lives but reflect the lives of all. What do you think of that Mr. Roosevelt?… One more freedom? One more freedom that would empower the others, engage good action, open our eyes, hands, hearts, spirits, minds. What’s that? Actually, I don’t know why you didn’t think of it, either.

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7 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Lauren Clark says:

    Brilliant. Thank you Belle.

  2. Nancy DuVall says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Brought tears thanks.

  3. Patrick Fennell says:

    I wonder what Jesse Owens thought about FDR, after the Berlin Olympics he was excluded from White House get together? How many Japanese-Americans appreciated being put in prison camps during WWII? What about the blacks during the NEW Deal being excluded for decent wages and excluded from many programs? How many black service people appreciated living in segregated quarters during the war while serving the US

    The real question is what freedoms did FDR really support?

    1. Belle fox-martin says:

      I know. Far less than stellar actions took place/take place but I still think there is value in the four freedoms.
      Something to aim for but not to obscure our continued ill deeds….
      I appreciate your comment, thank you. Belle

  4. val coleman says:

    Very interesting, thanks. I wish we could have met you this weekend with Susan U. while she was visiting us….have a Happy 4th!

  5. val coleman says:

    Great article Belle! I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet you when Susan U was visiting us. Have a great 4th!

  6. Valerie Locher says:

    The mirror you hold up in which we may reflect upon the integrity our own souls is a classic example of the kind of love to which you so eloquently refer. I am grateful for your gentle, and always encouraging, reminders.

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