On this day in 1776, our founders signed the Declaration of Independence, an event that changed the course of human history. But 237 years later, it is easy for us to lose sight of what it cost the men who put their names to paper on that day.
They were Englishmen, loyal subjects of the crown. But they were also men who lived under the protection of English law, and as such, knew that even monarchs are obliged to follow the laws of Nature and Nature’s God.
And they knew that defying the authority of the world’s most powerful empire came with great risk . . . yet they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the cause of liberty.
In so doing, they chartered a creed that has been a beacon of hope the world over – for all who long for freedom.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” they said, “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 . . .”
But years before these immortal words were penned, those proud English subjects had endured abuses at the hands of a remote and despotic government.
By the time the British Parliament had passed the Stamp Act of 1765, the Quartering Act of 1766, and the Townsend Acts that took effect in January of 1767, the seeds of revolution had been sown. These were all, in effect, taxes levied upon the governed without their consent.
When the Tea Act precipitated the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the British Parliament responded with a series of new laws tabbed by Patriots in America as “The Intolerable Acts.”
As we all know, the one thing we learn from history – is that we don’t learn from history.
And so in 2013 we have a remote and increasingly tyrannical government cutting back room deals, passing bills they’ve never read, violating the Rights of citizens, and acting in wanton disregard for the will of the governed.
Now it is Congress who passes “Intolerable Acts.”
First there were Bailouts for Wall Street and those Banks that were “too big to fail.”
Massive transfers of American wealth – out of the hands of the hard-working citizens – to an elite group of unaccountable plutocrats.
Then there was another massive redistribution scheme masquerading as a “Stimulus package” for our ailing economy, followed by the federal take-over of our healthcare system.
Now Congress may be on the verge of passing yet another boondoggle, this time one that dismantles the integrity of our borders, and forces hard-working Americans to once again ante up for millions of foreigners who have invaded our borders in violation of the law.
What do all these Intolerable Acts have in common?
•They were all passed without the consent of the governed.
•They were all rushed through a harried process that didn’t allow for members of Congress to know what they were even voting on.
•And they all involved massive redistribution of OUR wealth – to corporate and special interests – who have essentially bought and paid for our elected leaders.
To be sure, Democrats in Washington are driving this agenda, led by a President whose hubris is unrivaled in the annuls of our history.
But the Republican Establishment has proven to be little more than a collaborative partner in the “fundamental transformation” of America. They are modern-day Tories in the struggle against a remote imperial government.
History tells us there is a progression: First comes public protest, then civil disobedience, followed by outright rebellion.
Freedom is innate. A government that disregards the lessons of history is one that is doomed to repeat them.
On this July 4th, we pray our leaders will seek the Wisdom that is from above, and right our course before “the last best hope of man on earth” is lost to us. There is no need for this great nation to repeat the mistakes of past.
It is time to rebuild the foundations – and so we offer a prayer that belongs to all of US*:
Our Fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty…
Long may our land be bright,
With Freedom’s Holy Light,
Protect us by Thy Might,
Great God our King.
As we celebrate today with friends and family, may we acknowledge the Author of these Truths we still hold. And we know, the Truth will set us free!
While there is much that is wrong in America – there is still much that is right. So let us strengthen the things that remain, and work to rebuild the foundations.
And that begins today . . . in your community . . . with family and friends.
Happy Independence Day! And may God bless the United States of America!
*”My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” was regarded as the nation’s national song until the Star Spangled Banner was officially adopted as the national anthem in 1931.