July 4, 2014
"The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
“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 to maintain this 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 worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not."
John Adams wrote this sentiment to his wife in a letter dated July 3, 1776, after the first draft of the was presented to Congress. Characterizing the historical significance of the event perfectly, he missed the date by two days due to the fact that the final version of the was not officially adopted until July 4, 1776. Interestingly enough, not all signed the document on the 4th, with some disputing any signed that day at all, though Jefferson, Adams and Franklin all declared they did endorse the on July 4th.
But what is it that makes this document so amazing, so historical, and so unprecedented that even today tyrants fear it and liberty loving people all over the world risk everything to come to America and live under it? America has a vibrant, rich history including both good and bad moments, but we are unique in the principle of giving the power to the governed, not the government.
Some of the most remarkable proclamations are made in the 2nd paragraph of this declaration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident” - They are obvious, unmistakable, and undeniable. Undeniable, Liberty. That means no one can take them away from you.
“That all men are created equal” - No matter race, creed or color, every person is CREATED equal. That does not mean everyone achieves equal pay or an equal house or equal wealth. It means we are all born as God’s children and considering one inferior because of race or religion or nationality is against God’s plan for all humans. Abolitionists proclaimed this as a pronouncement by our Founding Fathers that slaves were white man’s equal. Unfortunately the phrase does not guarantee that humans will be void of conflict and war because this world habitually chooses to not follow God’s plan.
“That they are endowed by their Creator” - Yes, Liberty, our Founding Fathers DID believe in God, in a Creator. Many today are working tirelessly to re-write history, removing references to God from our Founding Fathers’ mouths and pens. They focus on Thomas Jefferson, who many argue was not a Christian but a deist. The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, or the Jefferson Bible as it is informally called, was a collection of passages from the gospels that Jefferson selected and pasted together himself. Since he left out miracles and the Resurrection, many claim he was a denier of the true Christ. The truth is his book focused on the teachings of Christ and Jefferson believed it was a model for Christian morality. If the people conducted their lives with these virtues then they have the tools to govern themselves and not be enslaved by a government. In addition to the Jefferson misrepresentation, it is also conveniently ignored that 23 out of 56 signers were clergy so I would argue that prayers, Judeo-Christian principles and Christ’s name were enthusiastically welcomed in the government, not aggressively denied. This country was founded by people who wanted Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. It was undoubtedly founded by people who spoke of Christ and God both in government and in their lives, not just in their churches. That is why Moses holding the 10 Commandments is etched into the Supreme Court building. Our forefathers proclaimed in the Declaration that there are certain freedoms given by God and because of that, no one can deny them. It is this concept that made the Declaration of Independence so historical and so unique. Until then people were resigned to accept their rights were granted to them by a government or king, which allowed that government or king to take them away. There are many today who must remove God from our lives and our history so they can once again assume the role of ultimate authority.
“with certain unalienable Rights” - Freedoms that can not ever be taken away from you and rights that you can’t even give away.
“that among these are Life” - Life, that precious gift that God gives us from conception. That priceless unalienable right that pro-abortion supports take from hundreds of thousands of humans every year. Life, that treasured gift from God that we have a right to protect with any means necessary, including a gun, if it is threatened.
“Liberty” - Independence, freedom, and self-determination to decide your own direction, your own path, and your own destiny. Socialism, while claiming to work for the greater good, grabs freedom at every turn. You can’t homeschool because it’s not fair. You can’t have that car because it uses too much gas. You can’t carry a gun to protect yourself because someone might get hurt. You must pay for abortions because women deserve health care. You must not only accept, but your church must also perform same-sex marriage otherwise you are a hater. You must believe in global warming and pay extraordinary taxes to combat it. Liberty, these are the issues your parents are fighting today in efforts to save liberty in America for you and your children. It’s what all these letters are about. God be with us in this struggle.
“and the pursuit of Happiness” - Most people do not know but the original phrase used here was “pursuit of Property”. Since owning property is a form of happiness to many, the pursuit of it is considered a right. Our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom and attempts by many to advance a path of eradicating slavery, saw a danger in this wording and replaced the term “property” so slave-owners could not claim that owning a slave, which they considered property, was a Constitutional right. What does “Pursuit of Happiness” mean, though? Does it guarantee you will be happy? Does it swear you will make a lot of money? Does it promise you will be successful? Does it ensure you will have a lot of processions? No, no, no and no. It means you have the right to actively strive for whatever makes you satisfied. You have the privilege to forge ahead with any past-time, faith, career, or invention you desire but take heed not to get deceived into believing you are assured success.
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” - Never before had the power of the government been put into the hands of those who are governed. Under this provision Americans have the responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. We are to watch them diligently and speak out when we see the government doing anything to overrule the rights given to us by God, stated in the Constitution and entrusted to the government to protect. That, Liberty, is why today’s Constitutionalists are so feared by both the Left and the Right in Washington. Constitutionalists are the defenders of the Constitution and the educators of the ignorant. They are America.
In 1780, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”
One can argue we have gone full circle and have spent so much time studying painting, poetry, music, etc that we have forgotten the beauty and significance of studying mathematics and philosophy and we have neglected the necessity and understanding of studying politics and war. I believe we are at a time again where America is rebooting itself, clearing out all the viruses and bugs in the government and returning to the original operating system.
Liberty, your father and I are studying politics and war that you may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give your children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. May God be with us today as he was with us over 200 years ago.
That’s my 2 cents.