Some of you will “unlike” me for this, but we need to talk. Look, it’ll only take a minute to read.
Quickly…. what famous event do we commemorate on the Fourth of July?
Not sure? You may not be the only one who is a little rusty on your High School civics. A Gallup poll reveals that 1 out of every 4 Americans does NOT know that the Fourth of July commemorates
( drum roll ) —-The Declaration of Independence—
(And by the way, the same number can’t tell you what country we declared independence from. I understand the first problem, but the second?)
Let’s ask “What does this day mean”?
Especially in an hour when forces are at work to dismember faith from patriotism, as though religious beliefs and politics were never connected.
JULY 4th ONLY EXISTS BECAUSE RELIGION AND POLITICS GOT MIXED.
In fact, at the birth of our nation, the founding fathers declared what? They declared a national DAY OF PRAYER and thanksgiving.
Hard to believe, but even deists among the Continental Congress of 1776 felt universally that our law was rooted, as John Adams said, “in a common moral and religious tradition stretching back to Moses on Mount Sinai.”
It was THIS SHARED worldview that gave men the courage to shape a new world based on a new argument regarding government, Kings and the Creator. In England the idea was that government came from:
2.) to the King
3.) and through the king to the people being governed.
Americans said in effect…”Not so fast, Hashimoto”
The framers of our Declaration argued that GOVERNMENT COMES…
1.) FROM GOD
2.) directly TO MAN who
3.) elects representatives who are best able to run things with an eye to the happiness of the people.
THAT, my friends, was a revolutionary idea. The French tried the same thing but removed God and substituted “reason” and ended up with a guillotine bloodbath and Napoleon as dictator for life.
This “Government” model meant MINIMAL interference and infringement on those being governed. In essence they said, King George is messing with God’s rights to the American colonies!
The big word at the core of the argument was….”UNALIENABLE RIGHTS”…meaning?
In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson ingeniously advances an idea grounded “in the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”
The idea of a “Creator” and “Laws of nature and nature’s God” should freak out people that want less connection between faith and government because the Creator plays BIG in the framer’s argument!
THE WORD “UNALIENABLE” (or inalienable) means UNDENIABLE or inherent. Unalienable rights are incapable of being lost or sold because they don’t come from man- but GOD. THAT was THEIR argument. These rights exist despite government decrees, one way or another because civil government does NOT have the power to grant or deny them in the first case!
That, my friends, is at the heart of the AMERICAN EXPERIMENT.
The Declaration was a statement that Government should be minimal so that man’s pursuit of happiness isn’t hog-tied by politicians in the pursuit of power and taxation of people resources. When government BECOMES GOD, it ends up robbing both freedom and opportunity. In the new colonies, man wanted to be independent from government interference. Colonists wanted to take responsibility for their own happiness and the crown was interfering. In the America of 2014, man looks to the crown in Washington to make him happy and in the end forfeits his freedom by slavery to its 17 trillion dollar debt.
They had a declaration of “independence.” I think we need to recover the meaning of “independence.” It’s the freedom to take personal responsibility for my happiness.
“Independence” and “Responsibility” are the two legs upon which free men walk.