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This is an age old debate. The question isn’t which is preferable: Liberty or Security. That would be to pose a false dilemma. The proper way to refrain the debate is to ask the question, “What is the proper balance between liberty and security?” This question recognizes that a certain amount of security is needed to insure individual liberty, and it also recognizes that too much security is a threat to liberty.

So what is the proper balance between liberty and security? According to one of the most important manifestos of human liberty ever penned, we read the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. (The Declaration of Independence)

By virtue of our humanity, being created in the image of God, we have the natural right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In order to secure these natural rights, governments are established amongst the people. In the American experiment, government is created by the consent of the governed to protect our natural rights. One could make the argument that this is the proper balance between liberty and security. We should be secure in our life, our liberty and our property. Beyond this, and we begin sacrificing liberty for security.

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