From M. Shawn Copeland’s Enfleshing Freedom:
Freedom from enslavement was freedom for being human. Only by analogy could the words of the Emancipation Proclamation change the order of creation, but it did remove God’s black human creatures from the plantation ledger.
Statutory freedom amended the social and political status of the enslaved people. It was now possible for enslaved women and men to begin to exercise essential freedom. The freed people now had the possibility of taking up the responsibility of human living without restraint.
In sum, that responsibility was this: to be a human subject, to be a person; to be [one who] consciously and intentionally in word and in deed assumes and affirms [their] own personhood and humanity…
Freedom from enslavement was freedom for loving without restraint… Freedom from enslavement was freedom for community and solidarity, for being human together.” —M. Shawn Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom, p. 48-49, emphasis added.
We’re not merely freed. We’re freed for life.
Any rule that limits freedom or encourages enslavement, that denigrates love or corrodes community, is an attempt to undermine the divine creative act and diminish the human person, and is thus illegitimate.