A Free People's Suicide
Sustainable Freedom And The American Future
By Os Guinness
"Os Guinness warns of America's decline but charts a course for America's renewal. It is a straight-shooting and sober volume, yet in the end it is a hopeful book." —Michael Cromartie, vice president, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC
Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders' belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today?
The first in a series of posts by Managing Editor Tim Dalrymple that feature and reflect on an interview with Dr. Guinness.
A frequent speaker and prominent social critic, Guinness is adept at making academic concerns accessible to lay audiences, especially in the field of public policy.
Read an excerpt from Chapter One of A Free People's Suicide: "What Kind of People Do you Think You Are?"
"Sometimes a book is so important and so timely that not to have read it is to embarrass oneself. This is such a book." What author Eric Metaxas and others are saying about Os Guinness' new book.
"The current American versions of freedom are not sustainable. Unless America discusses how to sustain freedom and renew freedom, she will decline."
John Mark Reynolds
I, for one, stand with Os Guinness. I will moderate my desires for things, stop objectifying people, eat and drink less and define myself in terms of Jesus.
Guinness rightly points out that many Americans have come to value negative freedom – not having one’s own life interfered with – over positive freedom, which is the liberty to do this or that. As a consumer-oriented materialistic culture, we often mistaken consumer choices for liberty.
Whether it is 1993 or 2012, Os Guinness’s message remains the same. Democracy is a wonderful thing, but it can easily degenerate into license, selfishness, and a failure to recognize the common good without a healthy dose of the kind of morality that is, at the very least, compatible with the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Thinking like an immigrant will get us off the couch, reconnected to our families, recommitted to our religious roots, and deeply appreciative of the freedom America upholds.
In a majestically grumpy new book, social critic Os Guinness tells Americans something we need to hear: our freedom is in peril. The first step in safeguarding it? Study history.
In my response to Guinness, I want to reflect on thanksgiving as an essential virtue for a free and civil society.
Guinness tangles with the brave new realists of both secular humanists and pure secularists: checks and balances don’t work in democratic systems where all the players checking and being checked are self-driven and corrupt.