The Immigrant and the Four Freedoms

In 1941 Presidente Franklin Delano Roosevelt–famous for his Good Neighbor Policy toward Latin America–delivered a speech called “The Four Freedoms.”   In the middle of World War II but before America’s entry into it, Roosevelt sought to define the values that the United States should defend all over the world:  Freedom of Speech,  Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.  The first two freedoms permit individuals to define themselves; the others defend them from threats.

Many immigrants come to the USA in search of Freedom of Speech, because in the land of their birth society has failed to guarantee such a basic human freedom.  Others come because they long to worship God according to their own convictions.  In many cases, when they can prove that they suffer the threat of persecution for their faith or their political beliefs, they receive the support of the American authorities.  But when they come to “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” to free themselves from want and fear, they do not receive the same hospitality and deference.

Unfortunately, human beings are inconsistent.  Life has many contradictions and absolute justice is impossible to guarantee with human laws.  But God is consistent and God’s justice is perfect.  God has the foreigner–the pilgrim as well as the refugee–in His Heart, and he will defend their cause.  If your own reception in the USA does not reflect the values our founders and best leaders have historically proclaimed, know that God will receive you with open arms.  Just as you came to the USA seeking liberty, seek God!  He will send His Spirit to be with you, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor.3:17).

The celebrated artist Norman Rockwell represented the Four Freedoms in a series of paintings, which are presented below  . . .

Freedom of Speech Freedom of Worship
Freedom from Want Freedom from Fear

Acerca de Joseph Castleberry

A missionary to Latin America for 20 years, I currently serve as president of Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. I am the author of Your Deepest Dream (NavPress, 2012); The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus (Influence Resources, 2013), and The New Pilgrims: How Immigrants are Renewing America's Faith and Values.
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