Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy Independence Day! Timely Suggestions to Maintain Independence and Liberty on the 240th Anniversary of American Independence

           Today is the 240th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America.  On July 2, 1776 in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress approved the resolution by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia that the thirteen British colonies in America were independent States. 

It was the date of July 2 that John Adams recommended be celebrated annually.  The Declaration of Independence, which explained the reasons for the separation from the United Kingdom, was approved two days later.  The prominent “July 4” on the great document’s heading led to the custom of celebrating American independence on that day.  Some of the colonies had already declared their independence before all the colonies acted collectively through their assembled representatives in Continental Congress.

We Americans should be grateful for the Founding Fathers and to those who fought for independence and liberty, as well as to all those over the centuries who have since continued to sacrifice to maintain our independence and liberty.  Despite recent terrorist attacks in the American homeland and against Americans and others abroad during this War on Terrorism, we can appreciate that there has not been an attack on the scale of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks in nearly fifteen years, thanks to political leaders, servicemen and other public servants, and even to the innumerable contribution of civilians. 

To maintain American liberty, knowledge of the history of the American Revolution and of the Constitution and civics is essential.  A significant improvement in the education of Americans in this regard is urgently necessary. 

The expression of patriotism through appropriate displays ought to be encouraged, not discouraged by private homeowner associations, as happens frequently, and especially by government bodies.  Attempts to deny veterans the right to display American flags on their own property, for example, always end in liberty for patriots and ignominy for those who would deny their right.  It is appropriate that Americans celebrate their independence as Adams recommended, with speeches, parades, music and fireworks, especially on Independence Day, but also throughout the year by displaying flags and other patriotic decorations, reading about the American Revolution or visiting historic sites.  

In addition to defending independence and liberty militarily, through education and by patriotic displays and commemorations, liberty must constantly be defended and promoted politically, through representative government.  It is timely to recall that a particular contributing factor to the American Revolution was the violation of religious liberty, which is what led to religious liberty protections in state Constitutions and in the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Religious liberty is again in jeopardy because of the undermining in various ways by courts, legislatures and executives of religious and moral freedom of conscience, yet all liberty is dependent on freedom of religion.  Freedom of conscience in religious and moral matters is a longstanding American principle.  

We give thanks to the Founders and to all Americans who have sacrificed for independence and liberty.  May God bless America.  May Americans continue to enjoy independence and liberty for centuries to come.  I wish you all a happy Independence Day!

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