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The Price of Freedom

By John I. Blair

What is the proper price of freedom?
Well, doesn't that depend
On which freedom we're discussing?
Freedom of the press, of speech, religion;
Freedom to assemble, to petition-
All these were guaranteed to us
Two hundred years and more ago;
Yet every day we have to fight
To keep them. Every day
Someone takes the pose
That one or more of these
Isn't worth the cost.
For free speech means
Even those whose speech is gross,
Offensive to extreme, can keep on speaking.
Freedom of religion means
Even those who claim there is no God
Have every right to think so
And we cannot make them pray.
Freedom of the press means
Even when the press is used
To print the most disgusting things.
Freedom to assemble peacefully
And petition for redress
Is what allowed the KKK
To march down Main Street yesterday.
All these can represent
The price that we must pay
To keep our freedoms green.
And the price is just.

2003 John I. Blair  

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