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SENTRY JOURNAL » 4th of July, Declaration of Independence, Freedom, indpendence » Happy declaring our independence from tyranny day!

Happy declaring our independence from tyranny day!

On July 2, 1776, 12 out of 13 colonial delegations voted in favor of a declaration of independence from England, with the New York delegate abstaining, unsure of how his constituents would wish him to vote.  John Adams wrote that July 2 would be celebrated as the most memorable epoch in the history of America; however the final draft of the Declaration of Independence wasn’t adopted by the Second Continental Congress until two days later July 4, 1776.  This is the date that was chosen to celebrate our declaration to the British Crown.

Today as we fire up the grills and shoot off fireworks to celebrate a day off work, perhaps we should also reflect on the meaning behind our celebration.   For me it’s a very personal thing.  I thank God each day that He gave our founders the wisdom and courage to stand up to tyranny so that we may be free to choose our own destinies. The below excerpt from the Declaration of Independence I believe captures the essence of the founders’ mindset during this time.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

This passage is timeless.  The founders recognized that we are all born with unalienable Rights endowed by God and like God these rights are fixed and permanent.  These Rights cannot be created by governments and they cannot be taken away by governments and any government that attempts to infringe on them it is the right of the people to alter it or abolish it.  The only purpose governments have as it relates to our unalienable Rights is to ensure they are secured for the people.

The British believed government was the answer and that thru the power of government they decided what types of rights the colonists should enjoy.  They granted and revoked rights as they saw fit to control the behavior of the colonists; rights they had no authority impose or take away.  The founders recognized this and acted on it by declaring their independence from what they viewed as a tyrannical form of rule.

Today as we kick back and enjoy the fireworks and food, reflect on why we celebrate this day.  Maybe we should ask ourselves if the relationship we have with our elected government is the same or different than the founders’ relationship with the British.  Does our government respect and secure our unalienable Rights or do they create rights to control our behavior?  What do you think the founders would say if they were alive today?

Have a happy 4th!





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