This week we celebrate the 241st birthday of our Constitutional Republic. Former Congressman Allen B. West comes to my aid when he suggested that Americans should NOT celebrate the “Fourth of July” since this is just a day on a calendar. Rather, Americans SHOULD celebrate their “Independence Day” and their blessed heritage of “liberty under law” that resulted from the courageous actions of our founding fathers.
I heartily agree with Congressman West and would add that the central importance of what our founders did was intricately bound up in what they believed. And what they believed they expressed concisely and precisely in the document they published on July 4, 1776. Essentially they said:
1) There exists an Eternal God;
2) Our rights come from Him; and,
3) The purpose of government is to secure those very rights.
Recalling and celebrating these firmly held beliefs is the essence of our American heritage and the occasion to pass on the “Blessings of Liberty” to the next generation.
President John Adams, known as the Colossus of Independence, challenged all Americans that the Fourth:
“…Ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Day’s Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
Our founders laid down the immutable principles for the foundation of our civil government in that great document we call the Unanimous Declaration of Independence. It was a document of secession. Many are surprised to hear that, but that’s what it was; they were seceding from the government of Great Britain, separating to form a new country and a new civil government.
When the thirteen colonies of Great Britain in North America said that the king was not fit to be the ruler of a free people and declared their independence from his government, the British government over those thirteen colonies ceased to exist. They seceded and formed a new civil government, which they designed to secure the God-given rights of the people, who had formerly been under the government of the king.
So this Fourth of July, while you celebrate American secession and liberty, let’s not forget, in the words of Thomas Paine, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
Happy Independence Day America!
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