A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


July 4, 2014

Fourth of July Reflections

     This Fourth of July feels different.  In the past, I've always felt our liberty and freedom were assured; that the soul of 1776 was still recognizable in our nation.  But for the first time in my life, our future seems ....  fragile and vulnerable.
     The one thing I know for certain is that I still believe in the "Spirit of 76".  I am well aware of how this country defies all the odds; that the freedom and independence we have known for the last 238 years is not a natural state of mankind in the world.  In fact, this country broke all the molds when it came to men and what rights they possessed.  "Natural and inherent" rights became a new philosophy that challenged the old order of kings, aristocracy, and the elite.
     But what did our Founding Fathers mean when they claimed that "all men are created equal ... and endowed with certain unalienable rights...."?  I think John Adams explained it quite well:  ""I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government; Rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe."
     It seems to me that our Founding Fathers believed in the concept that we are not all created with the same talents or circumstances, but we are created with the same rights to become all that we can be; all that God has made us to be.  I believe that they defined a "right" as something endowed at birth that cannot be taken away.  They expanded that philosophy to include property rights and economic freedom as integral and essential parts of man’s natural rights.  They developed this unique ideology from the example of their ancestors; the Puritan work ethic valued hard work, providing for one’s family, and the right to keep the fruits of one’s labor. That was then .... do we still hold to that principle?  Or, does our government see its role as making us all be the same, and leveling the playing field, regardless of efforts and accountability?
     It seems to me that Government is increasingly deciding which rights people and groups are "endowed" with.  And if they are the "giver", then they reason that they can also take those rights away.  Hence, our property rights are no longer sacred nor protected.  In fact, the "natural" rights that our Founding Fathers so authoritatively manifested have been redefined as government-guaranteed economic opportunity and security.
      I truly believe that the group of men who convened in July of 1776, were Divinely-inspired.  For the first time in history, the idea was born that men could be free of the restraints that repressed them. But the Founding Fathers understood that men were not perfectly good so they needed to form some sort of government to secure their natural rights. But just as important, they needed a government constrained by the consent of the people.  James Madison expressed it eloquently:  "If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
     But they also new that this never-before-tried form of government would be fragile and subject to corruption.  That's why, at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when asked if the Founders had crafted a Monarchy or a Republic, Benjamin Franklin replied, "A republic.  If you can keep it."  And my, how difficult it has been to keep it!  Down through the nearly two-and-a-half centuries this country has existed, malevolent forces have battered our walls of freedom.  The Republic has managed to survive threats from Communism, Socialism and Progressivism; although all have managed to erode the original vision of those inspired men.
    If you can keep it .... Did they know we would let it slip away?  But could they also conceive that there would be those of us who would recognize that what they accomplished was worthy of fighting for; and that their vision would still burn in the hearts of patriotic souls?  I think Franklin's reply was a subtle warning ... our freedom was not, and is not, guaranteed.  The Founders knew that men and governments would endeavor to increase their power and control at the expense of our individual freedoms because freedom is not the natural state of the world.
     That's why President Ronald Reagan's words sound so prophetic today:  "[Freedom] must be fought for, protected, and handed on [to our children] for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
     How do we protect these fragile freedoms; these freedoms that we are on the verge of losing today?  Has this erosion occurred by "the consent of the governed"?   We certainly seem to have fallen asleep on the job.   How do we change direction, and is it too late?  There are many Americans who would tell you that we failed Benjamin Franklin -- that we've lost it.  I refuse to believe that!  As Reagan eluded to, we must reinvigorate ourselves; know how remarkable and rare are this country's founding principles and teach that fact to our children.  Then we must make sure that we take advantage of the extraordinary system that has been instituted and elect honorable men who will preserve those principles.
     We must return to being a moral nation; not adopting moral relevancy, but a moral code of conduct that breeds responsibility, accountability, and recognizing the rights of others.  Finally, we must renew our efforts as watchmen of our freedoms; guard them and fight for them.  If we cannot return to a knowledge and recognition of the unparalleled freedoms that were established in this country, as well as stand up as moral men and women, and vow to protect our rights, then I'm afraid we may have nothing to celebrate next Fourth of July.
     But, if, as I suspect, the "Spirit of '76" still exists in our DNA, then I set my sights on the day that we can once again proclaim, as did Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago today, "It is most evident that this land is under the protection of the Almighty, and that we shall be saved not by our wisdom nor by our might, but by the Lord of Host Who is wonderful in counsel and Almighty in all His operations."  Amen!

2 Corinthians 3:17    "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."



7 comments:

  1. As usual, you are spot on. You are blessed to have the ability to see the true "state of the nation" and then the consequences or rewards of our solutions. We, as a nation, are facing unparalelled times in the history of our country. We are at a crossroads right now and the path we take determines our future. The way we get down that road is uncertain, wheather by force or diplomacy. Diplomacy can only be effective if we have a real, certain, threat of superior force. Our superior force is the God almighty but does our adversary believe he is superior? My understanding of scripture says they do not, however we deliver a deadly wound to his head first, then he is healed and our Jesus Christ comes to our rescue and wins the war, hands down. I believe it is time to be familiar with Psalms 144 as well as the song of Moses. I honestly do not see another year of inaction by us or our adversary, due to current "state of the Union". They are striking us daily and we are at our breaking point, only a matter of minutes, days or months. Our God has chosen this particular group of Christians for this particular time. It is an honor to serve in his army, I cannot let him down. We must make spiritual preparation our foremost priority, for this is a spiritual war. God has blessed you with the gift of understanding and the talent of eloquent scribe.

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    1. You, too, my friend, see the picture so clearly. It IS a spiritual war, and it is an honor to serve our Lord... we MUST NOT let Him down! Thank you for the reference to Psalm 144. I will now depend on it as I do Psalm 91 to inspire me to trust in my God to be my rescuer and my fortress. And yes, we need to be spiritually preparing ourselves now. I am no better equipped to help others than you are... we each have our role to play and God will guide us. I am so grateful that He allows me to hear from other faithful servants such as yourself. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  2. Keep spreading the word, and the Word Belle.

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    1. I will continue as long as He tells me to communicate His word. Thank you for your encouragement!

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  3. My real fear is that our children, born into changing times and circumstances will, through their experiences and school teaching (or lack thereof), continue to redefine "freedom" and "moral living" and "ethical behavior" and "rights" and "lawful behavior" until the original spirit of '76 ideals are so diluted that they don't even realize the changes and just accept them as what our forefathers meant. With the breakdown of the family unit and, even more important, the extended family there is no linkage to our real history, no counterweight to the progressive teachings and actions in our country. Our children are cast out into this new and changed world of groups and ideologies without the guidance they need.

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    1. I agree with you so much! I have this huge desire to teach our history (accurately!) to middle school children. I want to inspire them, as I was, with the stories of our Founding Fathers and our pioneers, and teach them that this country is unique among all the countries of the world. I want them to embrace that faith has always played a huge part in our society and culture. I want them to know the individual stories of the men and women who believed in the true meanings of freedom and liberty. I am so aware that they need to rediscover what this country stands for because, like you, I know our history has been distorted and maligned. Have we been perfect? No! And they need to learn where we started going wrong and how to reclaim our destiny. I honestly don't know if it is too late, and that makes me terribly sad.

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  4. Oh, what irony that we have President who thinks of himself as "Constitutional scholar" while he works to abrogate every part of it that stops his wishes.

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