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  • 'Independence Forever'

    The 4th of July is no ordinary holiday. As we travel and spend time with our families this weekend, we must take a few moments to reflect on the meaning of our Declaration of Independence, and its ongoing significance in light of our nation’s current struggles.

    The resolution to declare independence from Great Britain was actually passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, and John Adams believed that the 2nd would be the date on which Americans would celebrate their independence for years to come.

    So, why do we commemorate July 4? We celebrate the 4th because it was on this day that our founders set forth a statement of ideas which justified the separation “to a candid world” and established the principles that would serve as the foundation for the new nation.

    These principles are grounded in a higher law which is derived from both reason and revelation – “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” It begins with the principle that “all men are created equal,” meaning that they are equally “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights” which are grounded in natural law, not bestowed on us by government. Among these rights is the right to liberty, and to self-government; therefore the Declaration also states that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    These principles contributed mightily to America’s growth from a modest, undeveloped country into the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Declaration, Calvin Coolidge (who, incidentally, was born July 4, 1872), defended the principles of the Declaration from assault by progressives who challenged the wisdom of the framers:

    “It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people.”

    The signers of the Declaration closed by invoking the aid of Divine Providence, and devoting to the cause of liberty their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.” This was no idle statement. While many progressives claimed (and continue to allege) that the signers of the Declaration merely sought to protect their own property, the facts demonstrate that these great patriots gave great sacrifices for the sake of liberty. Many of the signers were captured by the British, imprisoned, displaced, or lost their sons during the Revolutionary War.

    They understood the seriousness of the sacrifice they would be forced by subsequent events to make. The image of the gallows hung ominously over their resolution to declare independence. In the event that the conflict did not go well for the colonies, a portly Benjamin Harrison is alleged to have remarked to a slender Elbridge Gerry that “I shall have all the advantage over you. It will be all over in a minute for me, but you will be kicking in the air half an hour after I am gone.”

    The need to reflect on our founding principles is striking in light of the widespread ignorance of our country’s history among the public today.

    But there is hope. Although “most eighth-graders who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress Civics Test in 2006 couldn’t explain the purpose of the Declaration of Independence,” there is still a widespread desire among Americans for a stronger understanding of their history and principles.

    The Heritage Foundation stands proudly alongside dozens of civic and academic organizations across America, which are devoted to rekindling among the general public an understanding of our founding principles and a willingness to defend them.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to 'Independence Forever'

    1. Eric M. Dennis, Sr. says:

      The Silent Majority "people of faith that did not want to stand up for their rights" are the root cause of the Progressive's rise to power.

    2. Pingback: “Independence Forever”

    3. Pingback: Independence Day « Senate Conservatives Fund

    4. Terrance, Richmond, says:

      I have recently begun studying conservative philosophy; including reading Burke, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, Tocqueville, Ryn, Hayek, Friedman, and Kirkland. I have learned more about our government, the origins of our government and what it means to be a conservative in the last four weeks of reading, than I did in 12 years of public schooling. Our Independence Day is sacred because it represents the day when our Founding Fathers finally "got it". "It" being that the role of government is to protect the rights that are given to us by God as a birthright from all comers, both inside and outside of the country and the government itself. That vision, that ultimate principal has become so lost and so clouded in the ensuing 230 years that it is almost unrecognizable in our modern government. We are still blessed to live in the freest, best country in the history of the world, but it's no longer because of our hard work. It is because the model installed by the Founders was so good that we haven't had time to mess it up yet. We have to wake up the masses of people that I know believe the same way we do and we have to elect the representatives to government that will do the right things. We have all the time in the world to lose what the Founding Fathers gave us but we don't have much time to save it.

    5. Pingback: DownRight » Blog Archive » America: I’m In Love.

    6. Richard Williams, Sa says:

      A note of hope for reasoned and balanced attitudes in the youth of America. I have 3 sons and 12 nieces and nephews – plus their spouses – in their 20's and 30's. They are spread across the US from east to west, north to south. Each one of them hold dear the founding principals of America and eschew the "progressive" political movement that has captured the generation before them. I believe the young of America, our nation's future, are more than able to bring this great people back to its founding truths of Liberty.

    7. Michael Turner, Coll says:

      It is amazing how closely the ideas in the declaration of independence relate to Christian principles. The idea of limited free will, that the Deity will not force you to believe in him, that you can enjoy the protection of those unalienable rights no matter what you believe, that your own spiritual, mental and physical growth are your responsibility, and that though there is one truth, we are responsible for reconciling our perceptions with the reality that is, are fundamental Christian principles that were recognized by the Founding Fathers.

    8. Nancy, Wilmington,N. says:

      As a direct descendant of President John Adams, and a fledging screenwriter, why couldn't we "wake up the masses" by reaching them the only way that seems to work–film.

      I am aware that there have been many movies/plays about Independence Day but what I'm thinking of is a mini-series, (think "Band of Brothers"), that would first play on Public Television and later, would air/be shown in our classrooms. Granted, perhaps there would have to be two series, one geared to young people,(grammar school, animated?), and another to young adults,(junior high school). (Some would say that our junior high school children are sophisticated enough to handle an adult treatment of the birth of our great Nation…but that's another film

      idea…),

      Unfortunately, our country is so used to being spooned fed through the media, and the media, by and large, has nothing but empty calories to fuel our nation. Hence our country is starving for the truth. So, let us take back the media and use film/movies to get across our points. What do you think?

      Jesus Christ utilized the power of the parable to teach his great lessons. If He were walking around in the flesh today, I believe He would be a film maker: His personal philosophy of Life has stood the test of time.

      The same power of the parable, through film, is an avenue whereby we can change the ebb and flow of events in our Nation's policies,and that done one person at a time. Think about it, viewing a film is a personal experience: Let's bring the meaning of the Fourth of July down to a personal level. Just an idea…

    9. Melissa McKinney, Id says:

      So America, are we strong enough or even attentive enough to do this again? Are we willing to win back our freedom? Are we capable of bequeathing our honor and our fortunes (if necessary) to this cause? We need to seek our hearts before we draw a line in the sand, we need to know what we are willing to do and do without if they cross that line. Are we ready for this? God Help Us, and God Bless America Again.

    10. Pingback: Happy July 4th AMERICA!!! | Robert Opyd (baghdad-bob)

    11. Pingback: AMERICA, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE!!! « FactReal

    12. Pingback: News You Won’t See In The Mainstream Media Saturday, July 4, 2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    13. Charles Wray, Topeka says:

      How sobering it is to consider our good fortune to be among the truly blessed with the heritage that is ours. God has truly raised up our nation for a special purpose, not that we should gloat in our prosperity and freedom, but that we should be living examples of the flame that sits in the raised hand of the statue of liberty. To know instinctively the rightness that we are all created equal, and that our Creator instills in us all the hunger for basic human rights and freedom—these truths belong not just to Christians, but also to Muslim and Hindu. From common laborer to chief executive, we must do what we can to hold forth the light of liberty, and to encourage Iranians, North Koreans and all others who suffer under the weight of oppression, there is a better way, there is hope, there is a God who longs to set you free.

    14. CARL DAVIS BISHOP, says:

      RE NANCY IN N.C. IN THE 1930'S I WAS A STUDENT IN THE L.A. CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM AND WE HAD CIVIC AND HISTORY FILMS IN THE CLASSROOMS—USA HISTORY WAS NOT AN ELECTIVE COURSE–NEITHER WERE PASSING GRADES GIVEN IF YOU WEREN'T PROFICIENT IN MEETING ALL ASPECTS OF THE SCHOOLS CURRICULUM– "READIN' WRITIN' AND ARITHMATIC"

      WORTH MENTIONING–THE FILMS WERE NOT BIASED OR SLANTED AT ANY POLITCAL AGENDA–JUST THE FACTS MA'AM!

      WORTH MENTIONING ALSO–'MINORITIES' (IN L.A.) GOT THE SAME EXPOSURE TO READIN' WRITIN' ETC AS THE WHITE KIDS–THEY ALSO HAD TO PASS THE FRIDAY TESTS SAME AS ME–AND THEY DID OF COURSE—OUR TEACHERS WERE DEDICATED INDIVIDUALS BACK THEN–THATS HOW IT WAS–THATS WHAT MADE US THE BIGGEST AND THE BEST NATION IN THE WORLD WHEN EVERY AMERICAN WAS ASKED TO HELP PROTECT THE COUNTRY AFTER DEC.7TH 1941 AND THATS ANOTHER HISTORY LESSON THATS BEING GLOSSED OVER BY SCHOOLS, NOW-A-DAYS…

    15. Nancy Adams, Wilming says:

      Re Mr.Bishop, Calif., these films about U.S.History that men and women like you–back in the 1930's– gleaned from to form your love for our country–your patriotism– that empowered the "Greatest Generation", (as the WWII generation is fondly and honorably refered to), to rise to the challenges of WWII, these very films, well, why couldn't we dust them off and show them in today's classrooms? The very fact that these films impacted your thinking proves my point that film/movies are a wonderful tool to teach our children the meaning of the 4th of July just by telling the story–the facts–of what happened back then. People are people and History is History: there is probably no need to even "update" these old films, except to make them in technicolor perhaps… Am I right? What do you think?

    16. Pingback: Must Know HeadlinesSaturday, July 4, 2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

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