Five years ago, a friend visiting Kyiv sent me a photograph from Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Ukraine. “Freedom is Our Religion,” read the bold banner covering the city’s House Trade Unions building, which was damaged by fire during the 2014 Revolution of Dignity: the mass protests that overthrew the pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
It’s an arresting and puzzling banner. I cherish freedom more than (almost?) anything else. Making a reflective choice, acting upon it, taking responsibility for it — what’s more human than this? In my classes on human nature, I can talk with my students about freedom ad nausea.