Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech

“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.”–Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941


This short excerpt has a big message. The message in this speech is a bit hard to understand, but with much review I was able to come to a better understanding of it.

To begin I believe that I should “translate” Roosevelt’s four freedoms so it can be understood more easily. [NOTE: this is my translation and view of what these “freedoms” mean, it is not official]

The first freedom is freedom of speech- everywhere in the world.

The second freedom is the freedom to worship God the way a person wishes- everywhere in the world.

The third freedom is the freedom not to need anything (AKA: having all of your needs met) – everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom not to fear having someone potentially hurt you (AKA: having complete peace) – everywhere in the world.

You see, Roosevelt is talking about freedoms that he thought should be put into place everywhere in the world. How can that be possible? Was Roosevelt the president of the world when he made this speech? As far as I know, he was not. Who then was to be the source of these freedoms? From what I have learned God is the source of our rights. Did God speak to Roosevelt telling him to proclaim to the world that people should have a freedom not to be in need of things and that people will not fear each other and will no longer sin or commit crimes against one another?

Maybe God did speak to Roosevelt, maybe not. If God had spoken to Roosevelt I think that those freedoms would have taken place already or that God would have already returned to earth. But sincerely, I do not think that Roosevelt received a message from God, I believe that Roosevelt was hinting to the people that we should rely on the government to be the main provider- a provider of freedoms, provider of peace, provider of wants, etc.   I strongly believe that God is the sole Provider of freedoms, Provider of peace, Provider of wants, etc.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

-Galatians 5:1

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”

-II Timothy 1:7

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

-Psalm 37:4

   It sure sounds like God has a pretty big role in our lives. Do you see anything anywhere in those verses that says that the before mentioned things come from governments? If you do I must be part blind, because I do not recognize anything that says we should rely fully on the government. Anyway, take what you want from this essay of mine, I hope that I have been able to shed some light into the realm of Roosevelt’s speech for you.

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