America is 233 years old this week.
Will there be many more? One thing’s for certain, America’s form of government-- and the God-given privileges of liberty it uniquely protects-- depends upon popular renewal and eternal vigilance. If we, the people, ever forget the principles of our great country we are sure to lose it.
Freedom is not a naturally occurring condition for human organization. It is a rare phenomenon in the course of human history. If it is not rigorously defended it will be abolished under the weight of self-serving politicians who force their will upon the people by exploiting weakness, ignorance and gullibility. As a writer in Pravda reminded us recently, “pride blinds the foolish.” The article was in reference to America’s rapid descent into Marxism. If you think you are incapable of being fooled, you better think again. Not everyone presenting themselves as political friends are honest and forthright. Remember, they only want your vote to enlarge their own power.
The majority of Americans are inherently conservative. All of the polling data consistently reflects this ideological bent, (CNN 5/19/09; Gallup 6/15/09). They believe in America’s Founding principles and the high ideals of freedom and liberty. This means they have a healthy skepticism of government, a distrust of those who would usurp their individual rights with promises of collective, state-sponsored security. The trouble comes from the fact that a group of disingenuous politicians are governing now in Washington from a completely different perspective.
I think it would help us to go back to the Declaration of Independence this holiday weekend and consider, once again, the heritage that defines our nation. It’s the one thing that stands in the way of a Liberal, Left-wing majority in Washington that’s determined to take over every aspect of our lives with irresponsible bailouts, oppressive energy taxes and government-run health care.
On July 4, 1776, 13 British colonies, after suffering from similar abuses of tyrannical government, declared their independence. The author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, wrote one of the best known sentences in the English language. It has been regarded by historians as the most potent and consequential words in American history: “We hold these truths to be self-evident [there’s no logical debate]: that all men are created equal [not evolved, and not subject to Sotomayor’s affirmative action]; that they are endowed [a legal endowment] by their Creator [God] with certain unalienable [cannot be alienated from] rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit [not the capture] of happiness.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “I never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.”
These sentiments charge us with the duty to seek and follow the will of the Creator as the precursor to all governments. The authority of the Creator, being prior to all civil society and human authority, must be respected for liberty to endure. The Bible instructs us, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” The only other option is to follow the authority of untrustworthy and fallible men who arbitrarily rule according to their own, selfish purposes. That’s why we say we are “one Nation under God.” It is a differentiation from both the “Divine Right of Kings” we rejected in 1776 and the totalitarian Liberalism we battle today.
Our first squadron of cruisers commissioned by Gen. Washington in the War of Independence flew the Pine Tree Flag with the motto: “An Appeal To Heaven.” I’m sure if the ACLU had been around back then they would have filed a lawsuit. The phrase is another reminder of our Founders’ reliance upon God for determining the success of the Revolution. The idea comes from John Locke and his philosophy regarding the “Right to Rebel.” Here is a quote from Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government,”
“If God has taken away all means of seeking remedy…[with] no Arbitrator on Earth to appeal to. Then they may appeal, as Jephtha did, to Heaven, and repeat their Appeal, till they have recovered the native Right of their Ancestors, which was to have such a Legislative over them, as the Majority should approve, and freely acquiesce in.”
If people are continually abused by a system that abdicates its responsibility to ensure justice, then Jefferson says, “it is [the peoples’] right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.”
Jefferson concluded, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
The challenges we are facing now represents another call to duty, to test our commitment to those sacred principles handed down to us. Time will tell whether this generation will keep the faith, or consign America to the dust bin of history.
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