Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 233rd Birthday America!!

By Indigo Red
July 4, 2009

On this day, 233 years ago, a group of men, and, yes, they were men, assembled on a hot, rain drizzled day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to declare the American Colonies free and independent States absolved of all allegiance to the King of England, the British Crown, and the British Parliament. They went a small step further by pledging their own lives, fortunes, and sacred honor and that of their families in the pursuit of liberty. And, as if that were not enough, in a giant leap for mankind, they declared for the first time in human history that ALL men are created equal, that ALL men are born with certain rights that cannot be taken away by any government because those rights come from God, or Nature, or whatever source beyond man and governments one wishes to name.

It is unfortunate that so few of the world's people, and so few Americans, have actually read the Declaration of Independence. It is also unfortunate that the few who have read it have not understood the words and great ideas expressed within. Mark it to the advance of time, the changing meanings of words, and perhaps the general apathy of people born to freedom and liberty to truly appreciate what was written eleven score and thirteen years ago.

When I was in 8th grade American History, the local VFW presented each student with a pamphlet containing the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, a pamplet I still have, carry, and frequently refer. We were to memorize the Preamble of the Constitution and recite it in front of the class. I have long since forgotten the words of the Preamble, but I have not forgotten the part that was not required to be memorized -- "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. -- We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

The Founders went on to declare that whenever any government tries to destroy the rights given by divine Providence, and force the people into unquestioning obedience under a tyrant, whether brutish or benevolent, the people have a right and a duty to replace that government, even by violent means; the people have a right to start a new government that will obey the law as set forth by the governed, as the free and independent people of Honduras did recently when their leftist president simply broached the idea of a second term despite their constitution's restriction of one presidential term. Our own head of state, Barack Hussein Obama, has publicly sided with the former Honduran president rather that with the people and Providence. There's a movement here today in America to repeal the 22nd Amendment that restricts the American president to two consecutive terms of office. H.J. Res.5 Obama is also a leftist and just the suggestion of breaching the people's trust, established by our first President who refused to serve more than two terms, may be too much to endure.
[T]he language of the original Declaration of Independence ...are not simply words; they are Just words to be honored, preserved, protected, and understood if we are to remain a free and independent people blessed by whatever Divinity or Providence there may be and the one truth that remains - these are MY rights, these are OUR rights, and no man will take them away.

Chuck Colson also wrote an interesting piece called
"The American Creed"

The great British intellectual G. K. Chesterton wrote that “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on [a] creed.”

Think about that for a moment. Other nations were founded on the basis of race, or by the power of kings or emperors who accumulated lands and the peasants who inhabited those lands.

But America was—and is to this day—different. It was founded on a shared belief. Or, as Chesterton said, on a creed.

And what is that creed that sets us apart? It is the eloquent, profound, and simple statement penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I’ll never forget when I graduated from Brown University during the Korean War. I couldn’t wait to become a Marine officer, to give my life if necessary, to defend that creed. To defend the idea that our rights come from God Himself and are not subject to whims of governments or tyrants. That humans ought to be free to pursue their most treasured hopes and aspirations.

Perhaps some 230 years later, we take these words for granted. But in 1776, they were earth-shaking—indeed, revolutionary.

Yet today, they are in danger of being forgotten altogether. According to Gallup, 66 percent of American adults have no idea that the words, “We hold these truths . . .” come from the Declaration of Independence. Even worse, only 45 percent of college seniors know that the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are proclaimed in the Declaration.

As America grows more and more diverse culturally, religiously, ethnically, it is critical that we re-embrace the American creed.

America has always been a “melting pot.” But what is the pot that holds our multicultural stew together? Chesterton said the pot’s “original shape was traced on the lines of Jeffersonian democracy.” A democracy founded on those self-evident truths expressed in the Declaration of Independence. And as Chesterton remarked, “The pot must not melt.”

Abraham Lincoln understood this so very well. For him, the notion that all men are created equal was “the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.”

Listen—and thrill—to those words that bind us together as a nation of freedom-loving people: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These are the words Americans live for and, if necessary, die for.

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