As Americans, this weekend we will be celebrating our 243rd birthday as a free nation. And on this occasion, "Independence Day," it might do us good to read some of the words of the paper that declared our freedom as a nation. Following are the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence:
The unanimous Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies in Congress, July 4, 1776:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 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.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States...”
As we celebrate Independence Day this year, let’s not forget the courage and faith of so many which made possible the birthing of our wonderful country! And let’s be faithful to pray for the leaders of our government that they will remember, as well!
General Omar Bradley, famous WWII general and the nation’s first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1949-53), warned us many years ago, “America today is running on the momentum of a Godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America!” John Quincy Adams , one of our founding fathers, rightly said: "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people ... it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other ..."