Monday, July 4, 2011

A Fourth Of Liberty...

Red, white and blue baby...







Two hundred, thirty-five years ago America was born...

Happy 4th of July! A group of representatives gathered from the thirteen independent colonies of Great Britain, to put together a union that would help them brush off the shackles of Mother England. What they put down with a quill in ink upon paper, this very day we celebrate. A day on which we cherish the God given freedoms that our Founding Fathers acknowledged to us on this historic event in 1776.

You may not believe it, but there was a time early on when people didn't really know which day to celebrate our founding, either the Declaration of Independence, which was signed on July 4, 1776, or when the Constitution was passed on September 17, 1787. It took many years for the tradition to take hold and become the celebration we now know it as. By the time our fiftieth anniversary had come along, it had taken hold and on that occasion, something very poignant happened.

Our second President(John Adams) and third President(Thomas Jefferson) both died on that day... in the same year, 1826... just as we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United States of America! And the president at the time was John Quincy Adams, the son of the former president. Both Adams and Jefferson had been bitter rivals in the early days of our founding. Years later, they started up a correspondence after many years of not speaking to one another and eventually became close friends. But the rivalry still remained. When John Adams breathed his last breath he was heard to say: "Jefferson still lives." But he was wrong. Jefferson had passed away a few hours before him earlier that day. Coincidence? No. Not in my belief, at least.

Providence, it was providence. Happy 235th Birthday, America! Everyone go out and celebrate the freedoms and liberty given to us by our Creator, acknowledged by our Founders and defended by our Forefathers. Don't just have a barbeque or a day at the beach.

Freedom and liberty are too precious to be so trivial...

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Steve Walker said...

Happy 4th July folks. A nice message marred only by the religious references; America was created by people, not God.

Ben Franklin said...

Created by men that believed in God and that our rights were granted to us from him, not other men.

Hence men had no right to take those rights away. The Constitution was put together to restrain the government as to what it could do to us. God given is correct. Honor is totally right in this.

Mark Taft said...

I would agree with Honor- and say God put the love and desire for freedom in our hearts. Man chooses "independence" from Him only to be held captive by self.

Steve Walker said...

Not to get technical but many of the founding fathers had no time for religion. They were men of the enlightenment, deists, who had no belief in the teachings of Christianity.

Steve Walker said...

The quote "God-given" is correct, but America as an ideal was created by people, not by a supernatural being.

TRON said...

Being a deist doesn't mean that they didn't believe in the freedoms that God gave man, it just meant he didn't really meddle in the affairs of man, a "watch-maker" God of sorts. They took many ideas from religious writers who thought that God gave man these rights and to do right by him the nation needed to be created somewhat in his laws, whether it be Christian or not.

Anonymous said...

Some of us prefer "Goddess-given"...

Cory Gross said...

To get out my parade-raining hose, I am bothered as a Christian to hear the name of God in connection with the United States or any country.

The USA, like any country, is a human institution created and maintained through force. God has nothing to do with it, and if God wanted to create a State, He would have made Jesus a national ruler. He didn't, and for good reason. The freedoms and responsibilities that God places on humanity are different from, and frequently in opposition to, the privileges and prohibitions placed on us by the governments that have assumed leadership over us.

America is a product of the Enlightenment and its documents are very much written from an Englightenment perspective. In that perspective, "God" is merely a metaphor for human entitlements. I can't think offhand of anything in the New Testament that would give someone the impression that they're entitled to carry weaponry for the express purpose of killing other people whose political views they disagree with, and I have a Masters in Theological Studies. Nevertheless your Second Amendment asserts that you have this right and it is given by "God".

Unfortunately, a lot of theology coming out the United States takes this view of God as granted: as a metaphor for self-entitlements acted out primarily through the agency of the State. Relating to God as an actual Being revealled through the person of Christ rather than a declaration of war drafted by soldiers is far, far different.

Walter said...

It was July 2nd that was what most people thought would be celebrated, as that's when the vote for independence (the "Lee Resolution") occurred. The document was approved on the Fourth. The Constitution was in many parts of the country far too controversial to be celebrated.

In any event, Washington's Birthday was probably the largest patriotic holiday up until about the middle of the 19th century, eclipsing even Independence Day.

In another coincidence, James Monroe, the fifth president, a student of Jefferson, and the last president to see official military service in the Revolution (he served under Washington at Trenton), died on July 4th in 1831.

DrunkenMime said...

here here! God bless the U.S.A

Anonymous said...

July 4th is the USA's birthday, not America's. America had been around for 150 years, monarchy and then republic and then monarchy again, before the USA was founded.

Cory Gross said...

A few years ago I was part of a cross-cultural practicum in Madagascar and we spent a day looking at the work being done by USAid. At one point the host made a remark about "Americans" and then stopped to correct himself, apologised and noted that meant the USA because Canadians are American too. As Canadians we all, to a one, looked at him like "what the Hell are you talking about?!?" Apparently he had been trained to think of "Americans" as being "North and South America" not as "United States of America". We informed him that in Canada, "American" is synonymous with the "United States of America" and to call a Canadian an "American" was actually an insult. So he apologised again.

Anyways, that's the context in which I called it "America". To me, as a Canadian, "America" is a synonym/shortening of "United States of America".

Honor Hunter said...

You are correct, Cory...

I've gotten into similar conversations with uninformed people as well. For some reason they think you're slighting someone by saying that Americans are only from the USA. History would have taught them this.

Had they read history...

Cory Gross said...

I gather the guy from USAid picked up his usage from conferences with people from Latin America who do say "hey, we're Americans to". I suspect it has to do with equality and equivalence, a desire to be recognized as people who matter on the same level as the United States because they live on the same continent.

For them it works, I suppose. Canadians have a different issue. We are trying to assert our distinction from the United States... Equal sure, but not equivalent. Its a product of the incredible social and political pressure that the USA wields over Canada (considering that our whole country has the same population as California).

I don't know if it's necessarily being "uninformed" as it is knowing who you are talking to and what is an appropriate way to talk to them.