The Fourth of July is a good time to contemplate the question, "What is freedom?"

Freedom is the ability to do what one ought to do. It is the ability to do good. It is the ability to live. It is the ability to speak the truth. It is the ability to practice one's religion. It is the ability to defend one's self and family from physical harm. It is the ability for parents to educate their children. Freedom is more about being able to give of oneself than to receive.

In our current tumultuous political climate, it is important to understand what freedom is not. Freedom is not the ability to do whatever one wants. Freedom is not a government handout or mandate. Freedom, for example, is not free college or student loan forgiveness. Instead, freedom is a healthy economy with an abundance of private scholarships and plenty of good jobs where individuals have opportunities to pay back their debts.

Freedom is not a one-size-fits-all universal health care system. Instead, it is a less regulated medical market that results in more doctors, more competition, and more independent clinics that give patients options to seek out the best care at affordable prices.

Freedom for a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy is not abortion. Instead, it is a nearby pregnancy help center, a supportive community, and family and friends that can provide her with the encouragement and practical help she needs to joyfully give birth to her little boy or girl.

Freedom is not "taking a knee" during the National Anthem. Instead, it is standing respectfully with the knowledge that men and women died in battle so that you could be there at all - standing in relative peace and prosperity in the greatest country on earth.

Our nation - built on the foundation of freedom - will continue, but only as long as voters choose their representatives carefully and with a true understanding of freedom.

Anna Enright

Hutchinson