Sara Flynn Hodge: A Voice for Faith, Family, Freedom

We are excited and blessed to launch our new interview series with Sara Flynn Hodge, Founder and CEO of the American Freedom Company and the Freedom Isn’t Free Foundation. As you will discover below, Sara’s values are deeply rooted in her Catholic faith, family and freedom. She has a remarkable story of courage and perseverance, becoming a voice for the unsung heroes of our country. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to learn from Sara’s witness and tireless dedication to making the world a better place! Off we go…

CBSara, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down with Catholic Bros.  We greatly admire the work you are doing to support our Troops and being a voice for liberty and freedom through your American Freedom Company (AFC). 

SFH:  Thank you for having me! It’s an honor, and I love what you guys are doing online to support the faith. Truly helpful content. Thank you for highlighting our troops; my heart is with our United States military and their loved ones. We have many deployed overseas right now, and I appreciate you mentioning them.

CBAbsolutely! We are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of our troops. So, where did the idea and inspiration of American Freedom Company come from?  

SFH:  The credit goes to God, of course. Scripture tells us that “…all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change,” (James 1:17). He surely is where the idea and inspiration for American Freedom Company (AFC) came from.

The world more or less shut down in early 2020, you know, you all lived through it too. In May of 2020, I was laid off from my corporate sales job, along with the majority of the people I worked with. Losing my job to the pandemic; a feeling I won’t forget. I have tears in my eyes now, getting choked up just thinking about the impact it had on my family. I’m a single mom of two young boys, and we relied on that job financially. Of course, we rely on the Lord more, but you know what I mean. There are more details to how difficult that time became; how much it changed our lives.

There was an American flag in my bedroom at the time, and I woke one morning with the idea for AFC. I had the complete thought “Our governor isn’t going to keep me locked in my house, unable to get a job, unable to be in society, this is not right. I have kids to provide for, and I love this country. I love what we stand for, I love the freedom we have here in the United States, I love our troops, our first responders, our veterans. In a time when society and the world online is pitted against America’s heroes and our freedoms, I’m going to go all-in on these values of FAITH, FAMILY AND FREEDOM. I’m starting a clothing company from home.” From there I started painting the American flag on the back of denim jackets, sharing our faith, family, freedom message online, and grew from there. This ministry is the Lord’s, this small business and now our non-profit, The Freedom Isn’t Free Foundation; it’s all the Lord’s.

Makes me emotional to reflect and remember all He has done. Thank you for asking.

CB:  The idea of freedom and faith are clearly linked going back to the founding of our great nation.  We love this idea that you have vocalized at AFC, “We follow Christ, not Culture.”   Recently, you courageously spoke up against celebrities who publicly mock the faith. 

In your view, what is the proper Christian response to these acts? 

SFH: You are right.  Faith and freedom are founding principles of our great nation, and they are 100% worth protecting, preserving and passing on to our children. This is critical to saving our country. When celebrities and public figures mock the faith, it’s important to speak out in truth and love (keep reading for Biblical support on this), to train our kids up in the way they should go and of course to pray for the conversion, salvation and sanctification of anyone who isn’t walking with the Lord. The church’s greatest strength and responsibility is first within our own homes (our domestic church), and then of course outwardly/with one another. Speaking out is important.

We follow Christ, not culture – this is pivotal to my message online. We cannot stand idly by while celebrities or culture mock the faith. Culture changes, Christ does not. Pop culture, the media, celebrities, current events, mob or group mentality will always move the goal post to an unattainable social (fake) standard of “ethics.” This is not Christian. The Word tells us that Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (see Hebrews 13:8), that he is the ROCK on which we build our firm foundation (see Matthew 7:24-27), He is the cornerstone – our measuring guide for all things (see Ephesians 2:20). This means EVERYTHING we do, eat, breathe, sleep, drink – comes from our faith in Christ.

To answer your question directly: We speak in truth and love, and we pray. Put on maturity in Christ, turn away from the world’s ways, speak firmly against false teachings that mock the faith, and build up the body of Christ. PRAY for those who need salvation. Pray fervently. We can firmly state the truth: It is not acceptable to mock the faith. We shouldn’t participate in such “art,” as the world calls it, nor entertainment that mocks the faith, the church, our clergy, etc. We should speak out against such things. Faith is contagious, maybe your outspokenness will encourage someone else in his or her personal faith too. We must teach our children not to follow anyone who mocks the faith. We must also act in the component of love. We should pray for celebrities, world leaders, people of influence and beyond to have hearts and spirits turned to Christ, broken for Christ, overcome by God’s love and kindness, for the sanctification of their souls and ultimately for their salvation! Really, we should be praying for them, while still speaking the truth.

I’ll point to Ephesians 4:14-24 as a directive on how we should respond to these acts. In summary: Do NOT be blown about by the wind, here and there by every new teaching and trend. Grow and mature in Christ! Support the body of Christ! Speak in truth and love. Don’t live the way the world does; in fact, turn away from those ways! Put away the old life, and be renewed by the Spirit.

  “…so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ… So I declare… that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart, they have become callous and have handed themselves over to licentiousness for the practice of every kind of impurity to excess… you should put away the old self of your former way of life… and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, Created in God’s way…” (From Ephesians 4:14-24).

To anyone reading this, be encouraged! Stand firm in the faith. Never bend on these values. It is worth it! Take up the great faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3 – we have another in the fire with us; Jesus Christ.

CB:  In your work, you express a deep love and respect for our troops serving around the world.  Many sacrifices are being made, including the ultimate sacrifice.  This is occurring at a time where great debates are occurring in our country related to religious freedom and many other hot button topics.  You clearly speak with conviction on all of these topics. 

What are your fans and followers expressing to you about the state of freedom in our country? 

SFH: The audience both at AFC and FIFF (Freedom Isn’t Free Foundation) are very much aligned in our values. They want to see America win the fight for liberty preserved! My DM’s are full of military and first responder families, foremost who are thankful for the support! They are some of the most hard-working, humble, grateful people! They also deserve more. Our nation’s heroes and their families aren’t getting the support they deserve from the media, and oftentimes the government. They are reaching out for prayer. I can’t speak directly for them of course, but to the best of my ability, my observation is that many of them want to see a fair election in 2024, and they want life, liberty and prosperity preserved in the United States.  When I speak out on these topics, including but not limited to, current events with our troops overseas, the state of attack on our incredible Law Enforcement in America, and more – many of the audience express gratitude for the attention being brought to these issues. These are FRONT PAGE NEWSworthy headlines. Yet instead, the nation is being manipulated in the media to fight over the “latest thing” protests, celebrities and trends. My audience and I seem very much aligned on the desire for a secure United States border, and the fight for freedom. I’m prayerful that we will be united as one nation under God. 

CB:  Tell us more about your personal faith journey.  Is there one person who inspired your faith?

SFH: This is dear to my heart, because I get to share about how the Holy Spirit and the Church really brought me back home. I was raised Catholic; I went to a Catholic elementary school for a few years and received each of the sacraments (besides marriage… you can pray for this!) in the church. As a teen, I went with my friends to a local Christian Bible study, Protestant in nature, and really spend the next couple decades in Protestant Christianity, genuinely drawn to the deep study of God’s Word for all that time, fellowship with other Christians and the joy that comes from worshiping God. That being said, I want to be mindful of how I share this experience, because many of my friendships today and so much GOOD came from that time. We should always work for unity among Christian believers, as Paul writes in the scriptures, as long as it is possible among us.

In recent years I found myself wondering more and more about the canonization of scripture, and as a history lover myself, I had to dig more. Finally, during a church service, I found myself wondering how much of the way we worship is based on the Bible, how much of it is a reflection of God’s Kingdom, and how much of the focus is truly on the miracle of Christ’s resurrection for our salvation? Being that my foundation was Catholic, and that I love Jesus, I’ve always had a deep love for the sacredness of communion. There was a devotion to the Eucharist that I was longing to experience and missing on a regular, if not daily, basis. I couldn’t shake these questions. I started digging into the historical difference between the books that are and are not included in the Bible which led me to tracing the history of the Church… and as you know, of course, the Catholic Church traces all the way back to Jesus Christ. I follow Christ. I am a follower of Christ.  This then led me right back to THE MASS. I had been raised in my younger years going to mass on Sundays, but not nearly knowing the deep treasures that lie within the WHY we do what we do in the mass.

I’m blessed to live near St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange, CA, and began devoutly attending mass there and also my local parish. A priest was kind enough to shepherd me by praying for, and also answering my questions as I went on this search to learn more about our beautiful church. “Why DO Catholics worship the way we do, and what is the meaning behind the mass?” I was set to find this out, which lead me to truly STUDYING the Catechism of the Catholic Church. WOW. My mind was blown, in the best way. I was DEVOURING every word, realizing that it is in alignment with scripture, both in love and in truth, full of charity and grace, full of adoration for Jesus Christ Himself, and realizing the entire mass and all that we practice is in adoration of Him. I fell in love with adoration, knew I needed to inquire about reversion back home to Catholicism (and all that would entail), and I had several personal questions within my own life that I was wrestling with – finding a trustworthy priest and a trustworthy friend to walk these out with was huge, and so helpful. Ultimately, the love for the Eucharist and mass continued to draw me in. I stayed close to the Word of God in regular study, and really knew finally that it was time to come HOME. From cradle Catholic, to devoted Christian and now devoted Christian in the Catholic Church, it’s amazing to be back Home.

Please continue to pray for me as I navigate faith and motherhood (I have my beautiful sons), who also have incredible faith in Christ too. For anyone wrestling these questions, seeking the Lord, asking about the faith… I encourage you to fall in love with the mass by going. Asking. Finding someone trustworthy. Reading. The info is all available to us in this modern age, and it’s worth it! Ask the Lord to protect you spiritually, and to give you wisdom and discernment. He will make it clear to you! The Holy Spirit will give you that nudge, and Jesus is worth giving your all to.

CBWhat is next for AFC?  Where do you envision the company going into the future?

SFH: AFC has new merchandise coming in often, I would be thankful for any and all support! Please join us on Instagram at @americanfreedomco. I am grateful to be an entrepreneur in the United States of America, and very proud to unashamedly share our values of Faith, Family and Freedom. In the future, as long as I’m serving the Lord, and it’s His calling, that’s what I’ll be doing. This small business supports my family, and I plan to keep going! Any time I’ve set a goal or a limit on myself, God has blown it right out of the water. So, for the future plans, that’s up to Him.

In the meantime, the huge chapter we are embarking on is our nonprofit work. I started a foundation called The Freedom Isn’t Free Foundation; a ministry focused on serving our deployed troops overseas and our first responders in the United States with care packages, meeting immediate tangible needs, and sending morale-boosting gifts to America’s warriors. Please keep me, my family, AFC and FIFF in prayer, as well as the AFC Family, our audience whom I treasure so dearly, and all those we serve.

CBWhat Catholic books or media would you recommend to others?

SFH: LOVE THIS QUESTION!! My top 3 books are for sure the most important, of course, is The Bible. I personally love my NABRE Catholic Study Bible. It has great notes, and the concordance is comprehensive. The Roman Catholic daily missal. It’s a great way to stay in fellowship with the church daily, even if you can’t get to mass, to be reading the same scriptures that are in mass. It’s also essentially a devotional that the church has planned out through the entire liturgical calendar, which is incredible to study and experience! Studying the life of Christ through the lens of the liturgical calendar is dynamic. We are so blessed to have this! (Alternatively, the Magnificat or something like it is great too, and sometimes easier to carry if you’re going to daily or midweek mass.) Third, I think the Catechism of the Catholic Church is important. I studied it as a child in school, but I’m truly going through every single paragraph now for the first time in my adult life – I felt deeply convicted that if I was going to return home to the one true, holy and apostolic church, that I wanted to be “all in” on my commitment and understanding what the church believes. It was only a couple months into the catechism that I knew this was the path. It answers all the questions that one might have about what the church believes, how we pray and how we practice. Highly recommend it!

Media – I love your content, Catholic Bros! Truly. I also like a lot of what Ascension Press is doing for the faith and believers around the world. I used their Pocket Guides to Reconciliation, the Rosary and Adoration to learn more. I love the Bible App, for the NABRE translation, easy, quick and you can find verses quickly with the search tool. Great for highlighting and sending encouraging screenshots to friends. For a rosary, if you don’t know where to start, or struggle with getting through each decade on your own, I actually started praying along with the Daily Commuter Rosary on Spotify. I continued the daily rosary and eventually fell so in love with it that I didn’t stop. It truly went from just learning to falling in love, and I’m grateful! Hopefully that’s a good resource for people “on the go” like me.

I enjoy following our favorite priests and parishes online, listening to Christian podcasts and watching Catholic documentaries and videos. Honestly, mostly I love reading God’s Word (this is incredibly important, I want all your audience to feel encouraged and built up to read the Lord’s sacred word), going to Mass and sharing teaching these things to my children. The rest will follow!  

CB:  In closing, what advice do you have for Catholics struggling to maintain their faith journey or those who are not Catholic but seeking truth?  

SFH:  Don’t give up! Keep seeking, keep PRAYING, genuinely ask God to show you the way, to give you that feeling in your heart and soul (which is the Holy Spirit, our great counselor) … and go to mass. Even if you aren’t totally connected during mass, learn a little more each time, keep the perspective that it’s not about us, it’s about worshiping God, and you’ll fall in love. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy; he will lie and try to make you feel like you’re not faithful, like you’re disconnected, isolated, alone or whatever the laundry list of negative thoughts are. REJECT THOSE in the name of JESUS, and cry out to the Lord. Stay strong in CHRIST, not on your own might, and He will lead you right back to Him. Scripture says “seek and you shall find,” which is true! Seek the Lord, knock, and He’s right there to open the door for you. Don’t give up hope. Be ENCOURAGED that the Lord loves you, and you’ve done nothing too far to separate you from His love.

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Our next interview is with Fr. Leonard Mary, Priest and Friar of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word.

Catholic Bros is most grateful to Sara Flynn Hodge for taking the time to interview and tell her story.

Sara Flynn Hodge is the Founder and CEO of American Freedom Company,, and the Freedom Isn’t Free Foundation.

Her business shares the message of faith, family and freedom through her faith-based patriotic apparel. The foundation serves our active-duty United States troops by sending care packages to our deployed warriors overseas, and supports local first responders as well. Sara is an advocate for the faith and the Catholic Church, in the midst of a world gone woke, and shares her message through a Biblical lens online. Her greatest joy and calling is following Christ, and being mother to her two sons. She and her sons live in California, where they love to spend time outdoors.

Sara Flynn Hodge can be followed at:

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