Independence Day and Our Legacy of Liberty
“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful.”
“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)
On this, the 246th anniversary of the Founding of American Liberty, I am grateful for the critical decisions by our Supreme Court affirming not only the sanctity of life but also the fundamental First Amendment and Second Amendment rights of all Americans – the latter being the “First Civil Right” and the palladium of all other rights.
Indeed, the first shots of the American Revolution fired at the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775, were to repulse the confiscation of militia firearms — in other words, to disarm the people.
That year, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a pastor and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, famously preached a sermon on Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” Muhlenberg closed his sermon with these words: “In the language of Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight.” He then removed his clerical robes and revealed to the congregation his Continental Army officer uniform.
It was a clarion call to arms which resonated throughout the colonies.
Fifteen months after the opening salvos, the first generation of American Patriots gathered in Philadelphia to sign our Declaration of Independence, the most consequential enumeration of the fundamental and unalienable Rights of Mankind as irrevocably endowed by our Creator.
The enduring premise of our Declaration is found in these words: “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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Those words terrify the tyrants at the helm of the socialist Democrat Party.
Our Founders concluded their affirmation of the Declaration by attaching their signatures under these 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.” In doing so, the signers were signing their own death warrants.
The Declaration of Independence, as signed on that foundational Independence Day was and remains, the most significant and consequential affirmation of freedom in the history of the world, the cornerstone of our Republic. It asserts that Liberty is not temporal but eternal.
Of that significance, its principal author, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “The Declaration of Independence [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.” He would later observe upon reflection: “This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.”
The day before the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, of the necessity of observance: “It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Day’s Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
Upon reflection he wrote: “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.”
Shortly after Lexington and Concord, John Adams’s second cousin, Samuel Adams, declared, “The People alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”
Of those who would not rise to defend that right, Adams wrote: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”
Likewise, Founder Joseph Warren, a physician and friend of John Hancock and Samuel Adams, and a fellow member of the Sons of Liberty, offered these words: “Ease and prosperity (though pleasing for a day) have often sunk a people into effeminacy and sloth. The man who meanly will submit to wear a shackle, condemns the noblest gift of heaven, and impiously affronts the God that made him free.”
Why would that first generation of American Patriots forgo the “ease and prosperity” for “the animating contest of freedom” when the price of sustaining Liberty was so high?
The answer to that question — Liberty or Death — defined the spirit of American Patriotism then, just as it defines the spirit of American Patriots now. There was much blood and treasure expended in the battle for Liberty before its essential affirmations were codified in our Constitution in 1787. And there has been much blood and treasure expended since.
Today, WE are the ideological descendants of those who once pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Just as our forebears were, we must be willing to “support and defend” Liberty at all costs. It is not a calling for those who “love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom.”
As for the circumstances today, in a nation under siege by the enemies of Liberty within, those in control of the socialist Democrat Party, there are many timeless and encouraging words from our Founders.
Recall the words of George Washington in 1777, when the obstacles to American Liberty seemed insurmountable: “We should never despair, our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times.”
Likewise, the aforementioned Dr. Joseph Warren wrote: “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
To avoid the tunnel vision associated with the contemporary siege of statists rulers, and the constant churn from MSM talkingheads and scribes, we must never lose sight of so much that is good and right about our country. We understand that restoration and preservation of Liberty is a generational process and never rests on one political campaign or cycle. We know we are on the right side of history when the other side constantly endeavors to undermine Liberty.
We believe, as did Ronald Reagan: “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.”
President Reagan observed: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on 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.”
Indeed, we understand that there is no rest for Patriots.
A decorated World War II Marine veteran, Carl Dekel, on the occasion of his 100th birthday this week, tearfully offered these insights on his service, and that of his “Greatest Generation”: “Nowadays I am so upset because the things we did, and the things we fought for, and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain. Our country is going to hell in a handbasket. We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised, not at all. … That’s not what our boys, that’s not what they died for. It’s just not the same. That isn’t what we fought for.”
It is up to us to restore what is good and right about our great nation, and ensure that “our most glorious achievements are just ahead.”
Patriot brothers and sisters, remember who YOU are — who WE are together — and from what stock you come.
We are sons and daughters from all walks of life, heirs to the blessings of Liberty bequeathed to us at great personal cost by our forebears, confirmed in the opinion that it is our duty to God and Country to extend that blessing to our posterity. We are bound by our “sacred honor” to that end. We will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up or give in.
Be heartened by the awesome power that has emboldened Patriots from the dawn of our nation, who understood, as George Washington declared, “Our cause is noble; it is the cause of all mankind.”
Fellow Patriots, help us grow the ranks of grassroots Americans standing fast and firm against the authoritarian Biden regime. Please support our mission to ensure our timeless message of Liberty reaches an ever-wider audience. We have only five days left to ensure funding for our daily operations. Please help push us over the top today.
Finally, as we close in on the 250th anniversary of our nation’s Founding, I draw your attention to remarks delivered on July 4, 1926, at the Philadelphia celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration, by a president who was born on the 4th of July.
President Calvin Coolidge declared: “About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”
He concluded: “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 altar fires before which they worshiped.”
On this, our nation’s 246th celebration of independence, I invite you to join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform, our first responders, and all who stand in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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