You can't be more free in this universe, on this earth, than CroMagnon man was. Did he talk about freedom? Or do we just start obsessing about it after we've lost nearly all that we ever had?
These days, to me, freedom is what comes with "nature": that is, a biosphere not mucked about with by several (and more) billion humans, all talking, talking, talking.
The aborning United States used "freedom of religion" as a sibboleth. The framers meant that the deists wouldn't put the Presbyterians in jail, or the Baptists, or the Methodists once they came along. They certainly did not mean that anyone could think or say anything they wanted about cosmology, theology ... this or that god ... Imagine Hawking set in front of Benjamin Franklin, two great "scientists," but from different eras. I can't imagine either letting the other get a word in (of course I'm first imagining Hawking as actually able to talk, without all that machinery, without that whole infrastructure of computers and programmers ...)
My son tells me that in France they care far more about freedom from religion than any freedom of religion. The Church has a visible presence in France, but is quite without power: would a contemporary Frenchman tolerate the Church if it started reassaming power? (Only if the Frenchman retained to power he now has: to dissent, to mock ...)
What I want is freedom from government.
Freedom of Speech
What good is it if no one understands what you say? if the institutions that manage our lives from birth (and before birth, before conception!) are illiterate? without imagination? are incapable of listening? and too full of themselves to realize that they are ... all of the above?
Maybe actually Franklin and Hawking would get along just dandy. Both were extraordinary men. But: Swift shows us Gulliver helpless among the Lilliputians, then later, just as helpless back in London, trying to explain Lilliput to Englishmen. The Gulliver of the narrative just went along with everything; the Gulliver trying to be a messenger gave up and went and lived, miserable, in the stable. At least in our Christian story we put Jesus out of his misery while he was still in his prime, before he had to waste any more words on us?
Humans imagine that they can talk competently with gods, that gods came communicate with them: us, the humans.
Why don't religious meetings begin with a prayer:
If we are in any way misrepresenting you, send us a sign, right now. Burn me, claiming to be your priest, for example, right now.
Burn the congregation, right now, if they are making me say and do things against my will.