The Real Meaning of July Fourth
John F. McManus
When they had enough of British oppression, 56 men representing the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. Their courageous act launched the greatest experiment in human liberty in all history: The United States of America.
The Declaration contains the philosophical base of our nation. It says, "Men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...." That truth is followed immediately by "... to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted...." Those two short statements, presented as "self-evident ... truths," not as speculation or mere opinion, form the essence of the U.S.A.
Paraphrasing, the Founders proclaimed that there is a God Who gave us our rights. And those 56 launchers of our nation used those God-given rights to form a government whose sole purpose was protection of their rights. They didn't envision redistribution of the wealth, or government paternalism, or government control of their lives. They wanted government to possess only the power of curtailing any infringement upon rights, either by some criminals or even by the government itself.
With that excellent philosophical base, another gathering of Founders produced the U.S. Constitution. Completely in accord with the thunderous assertions in the Declaration, our nation's "supreme law of the land" should be considered the nuts and bolts needed to have a country function properly. The Constitution's chief feature is its limitation of the federal government to very few specific tasks.
America became the envy of the world not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
Too many Americans have no idea of the wisdom contained in these two documents. Decisions of the Supreme Court have outlawed any teaching of God's existence in the government-controlled schools. It should infuriate every American to know that the real meaning of America can't be taught as fact in the government schools. If God isn't taught, many will arrive at the conclusion that government granted us our rights. And, if government has granted them, government can take them away. The takeaway is proceeding with taxation, controls, regulations, and Big Brother-style dictates.
The Fourth of July presents an opportunity for every American to become reacquainted with the magnificence of the Declaration and the Constitution. The wisdom given us more than 200 years ago must not be considered applicable only to their time. Eternal truths don't change. Americans must demand a return to the fundamentals that made this country great. Only then can we be assured that this "one nation under God" will remain great — and free.
Happy Fourth of July to all from The John Birch Society!
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