Independence Day 2011

I suppose the 235th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is as good a day as any to look at what the Founding Fathers thought about God’s role in the new union they were proposing.  Rather than go on for pages and pages, I’d like to offer the following quotes for your consideration.  (Any emphasis added is mine.)

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.  Declaration of Independence.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.  Declaration of Independence

It is impossible for any honest person not to be astonished. (that the Constitution had been created in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles) It is impossible for the religious man not to once again perceive the finger of that Almighty Hand that so frequently and notably extended relief to us during the critical stages of the Revolution.  James Madison, Federalist Paper #37.

I could go on, but any study of the thoughts and writings of the Founding Fathers will discover that most of them, if not all, believed that God was with them in this new endeavor.  As Madison writes, it’s almost inconceivable that this group of men could author a plan for the new government in such a short time and with so many diverse interests having a hand in it.  Likewise, most would agree that it was almost impossible for the small, under-equiped American army to defeat the most powerful fighting machine in the world at that time, the British army without Divine intervention.

Of course, those who have an anti-God agenda, most notable atheists, deny the very existence of an all-powerful God.  But, they are a very small, very vocal minority.  Here’s the thing.  America was formed with the assistance of the Almighty.  It was formed as a country where the people were the government and where individual rights would be ensured.  As a mostly-Christian nation we welcomed immigrants of all faiths (and no faith).  We have been so open to others that now we’re in a position of having to defend the very principles that allowed so many non-Christians to come here to take advantage of our rights and freedoms.  People who came here to enjoy our freedoms want to take many of those freedoms away from us.

Now we’re being told that we can’t be a God-fearing country any more.  Those of us who believe that we are “one nation under God” are being told to sit down and shut up because we might offend someone who doesn’t agree with us.

We call this day “Independence Day” because it’s the day we declared our freedom from an oppressive monarchy.  Most of us have no idea of what our founders were risking by taking this step.  We get a glimpse of it in the Declaration’s last sentence “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

This was no exaggeration.  Had the revolution failed, every man who put his name to the Declaration would have been killed, their families would have been killed, their property would have been confiscated by the British, and they would be forever branded as scoundrels and villains.   On this Fourth of July and every day, we owe these men a huge debt of gratitude.  We also owe them our own efforts to preserve the country that they risked so much to create.

 

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