Like so many of you, I received a magazine in the mail advertising for the so-called Freedom Festival – a yearly festival every July 4th, the patriotism surrounding which is supposed to commemorate Independence Day and the birthday of the 13 American States.
Yet, as should be surprising, there was not one mention of the Declaration of Independence, nor any one of its 56 signers. Not even the “Father of America”, George Washington, was mentioned. And yet, to add insult to injury, there were many mentions of a betrayer of the American system of governments and his, at best, vague and inaccurate Gettysburg Address.
This, my friends, is an example of the problem with America today. Blatant “nationalism” which merely treats “America” as a sports team in the supposed “competition” of states – and one in which the U.S. government actions are, in and of themselves, typically considered the standard for rightness, does no good to anyone at anytime.
With or without even the principles of the Declaration (which should be the REAL cause for celebration), these united States are just some among many nations. And the greatness of a nation should be measured by how free the people living there are, and not simply the strength and power of its military or the strict dedication (even to the lengths of irrationality) to the American “sports team”. Thus, to the degree to which the people of these united States are free, is the degree to which they are great; not relative to how free or unfree other people may be, but relative to how free ALL men should be!
Many wise men in history have warned about form without substance – and a nation which abandons good principles (regardless of whether or not they are related to their founding) is merely one of the many that have come and will, eventually, go the way of all worldly civilizations previous to it.
I hope that those real Patriots who truly care for the rights of all men will take this Independence Day as an opportunity to enlighten their minds, invigorate their souls, and dedicate (or rededicate, whatever the case may be) themselves to the PRINCIPLES of freedom, instead of having any earthy person or institution be the source of hope, let alone mere real estate within an arbitrary line, or border.
Please don’t only read the Declaration, but we should study out the principles in our minds, and seek application of them in our lives. And perhaps, with the aid of Divine Providence, one day we will have a country we can call home, and truly consider free.
Perhaps reading the words of those who helped to influence such a document as the Declaration of Independence would be worth studying as well. The four that immediately come to my mind are: