Our Independence: do we grasp the true source of it?

“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself; and can never be erased by mortal power.”
- Alexander Hamilton, 1775

Ponder for a moment the might and magnificence of 1,322 immortal words and the 56 patriots who gave them life. In that matchless declaration a force was galvanized that changed the world forever. Millions have lived in freedom and unprecedented prosperity because of what took place in that stifling hot room in Philadelphia 234 years ago today. In the present, we find our own government doing its best to mimic the tyranny we originally escaped. The depth and breadth of abuses is similar and the stakes equally high. The season is ripe to set ablaze once again the spirit of 1776.

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. - John Adams

This real American Revolution that Adams spoke of is a miraculous and unparalleled episode in the annals of human history. The magnitude of what those colonists faced in forging a new nation and declaring their independence is hard for us to imagine…and yet, we can relate, in a very real sense: it is do or die once again. The very survival of America hangs in the balance…our people must experience the same revolution of mind and heart if we stand any chance of seeing our hard-won legacy of freedom into the future. We must be transformed by a higher calling…

After all, the core message of the Declaration is that our rights come from our Creator, not the government, the state, sovereign or king. As Newt Gingrich points out in his book Rediscovering God In America, when our forefathers declared independence from an earthly power, they were making a forthright declaration of dependence upon God. He then points out the four references to God in the Declaration: as lawmaker, creator, supreme judge and as protector.

Why don’t we talk about or teach the Divine inspiration and foundation of this most cherished charter of freedom?

Because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the Left that government is the source of all that you need, not God. They will never acknowledge the massive volume of evidence left by the founders that confirm the real message of the Declaration.

In a speech given on Independence Day in 1837, our 6th President, John Quincy Adams queried, “Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the precepts of Christianity?”

In his Independence Day speech in 1926 commemorating its 150th Anniversary, President Calvin Coolidge reminded Americans that it was “a great spiritual document.”

“…We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the alter fires before which they worshiped.”

Is it not time for the next great spiritual awakening in this country? The Great Awakening of the 1730’s led to the American Revolution that Adams was instrumental in leading. The second religious awakening occurred in the 1800’s and led to the abolitionists’ campaign to end slavery. Will our generation usher in the next great awakening?

If so, we must return God to the center of our nation’s conscience. After all, it was the hallowed sermons echoing from the colonists’ pulpits that set ablaze the revolution that led to our independence.

“If the groans and cries of posterity in oppression can be any argument, come now, my noble countrymen, fight for your sons and daughters.” – Pastor David Jones, July 1775

This “change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations,” that Adams spoke of is EXACTLY what must happen again.

So, on this 234th anniversary of our nation’s birth, let us ponder carefully how this revolution might take place within our own hearts and minds – for the sake of our family, friends, and fellow citizens. We also owe it to those 56 men who risked it all…they became traitors to their mother country, but heroes to their posterity.

And may we never forget the stirring words and sentiments of the Declaration’s closing words,  “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.”

Let us live worthy of that pledge…


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Published in: Weekly posts | on July 2nd, 2010 | View Comments

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  • ed

    “Because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the Left that government is the source of all that you need, not God…”

    This part of your blog reminded me of the following quote from Pope Benedict that speaks to where we as a country have been headed for many years: “Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes, not divine, but demonic.”

    More government is not the solution; it's the problem. It's time to change course.

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