In today’s political climate, the words of the venerable Mahatma Gandhi, a political and spiritual leader during India’s struggle to gain their independence from England, comes to mind: “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err and even to sin. If God Almighty has given the humblest of His creatures the freedom to err, it passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.”1
While many accept Gandhi’s statement as his opposition to repressive overregulation by the government. It applies to the principle that by doing so, the government is implying that people have no right to try anything new or different because they may make a mistake in doing so. Gandhi’s appeal to God’s creating mankind with a free will is also a sign that he knew the Christian view. But the one element that must be factored in: Does such freedom to make mistakes depend on whether such errors are done inadvertently or done on purpose.
In the case of Adam and Eve, they knew better. They went against God’s commandment not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As such, their sin was worthy of rebuke and punishment. Yet, when the woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus, even though she knew what she did was wrong, it was God’s grace that allowed Jesus not to condemn but to forgive her. So as we look around us today, the final question that must be asked is this: Do we want others doing to us, what we are doing to them? – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1Statement to the Press, Delhi, March 5, 1933, Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. 51, p.210