On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence and formalized the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain. Two days later on July 4, 1776 the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed. It was a great date in the history of the United States.
On July 4, 2013 we celebrate 237 years of independence - - of Freedom, and it’s a good time to ponder what Freedom means.
Freedom - - we incorporated the concept into our most important documents - - the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our laws.
Freedom - - the concept became the soul of our Nation and was paid for with sweat and blood for 237 years.
Freedom is never absolute, never static, and never unending. Today we are still struggling for freedom. In 1776, it was against outside forces - the King of Great Britain; today, the struggle is with our own people, people who are supposed to represent us - - WE THE PEOPLE.
In 1776, those three little words, WE THE PEOPLE, empowered our new nation. Thus began the Preamble to the Constitution.
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
It is “We the People” who created this Nation - - not corporations or PACs. These groups aren’t soldiers on the front lines supporting our Nation, nor do they sweat, bleed and die for this country. We the People do.
We are the government and the elected officials are there serving as representatives of our will. This is something our elected representation and our judiciary seem to have forgotten.
WE THE PEOPLE are the government of the U.S.
Yet laws are being passed daily, by both state and federal government, which inhibit our rights as free citizens of this Nation and by default the government of the U.S. These laws allow corporations and special interest groups to influence, and in some instances even write the law itself; they allow corporations which are merely artificial constructs for tax purposes to be considered as people, and thereby weasel around the laws create to prevent our democratic republic from becoming an oligarchy or a corporatocracy; laws that restrict citizens right to vote; laws that encourage prejudice, racial and gender discrimination; laws that incite violence; laws that dismantle our right to privacy; laws that deny our right to a fair trial; laws that undermine our right to determine our own destiny; laws that preclude us from free speech, peaceable assembly, freedom of religious belief in whatever form it takes; laws that decry science; and even laws that deny us our the most basic and universal of human needs and rights - - our health, our home, and our livelihood.
This discourse is not intended to address each of these grievous acts at this time, but rather to encourage recognition of what we have to protect and what we have to lose. Some of my favorite quotes regarding freedom express it very well.
“Freedom is never free for it comes at a price.” ~ Troy Slater, Pastor
“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela
”Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Take the time to review the Charters of Freedom for our Nation on the link below:
Honor those who have fought and died to ensure our Freedom by voting regularly according to your conscience, by supporting everyone’s Civil Rights, and remember that We the People have a responsibility to each other and to this Nation to fight to ensure we all remain free.
Thank you to all of our soldiers, both past and present, who have given their hearts, spirits, and sometimes even their lives to defend those of us at home. Also, thank you to the families of those soldiers for the sacrifices they make each and every day in support of their soldier.
Happy Independence Day to all and let Freedom always ring across this land!