“[Independence Day] will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. 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 Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
The COMMON SENSE of American Liberty
On this, my favorite day of American celebration, I was sitting on my front porch thinking about America. The beautiful American flag flies from the rafters beside the Gadsden flag, waving in the gentle summer breeze. I love this country, and I know many of you do, too, so the natural progression of my thoughts took me to why? Why do I love this country? Very quickly, the one word response arose: CHOICES.
Freedom means choices. It means you and I do not have to agree on everything to be friends or neighbors. We do not even have to agree on everything to verify the fact that we do, indeed, love this nation. In fact, it is our varied beliefs, races, religions, ethnicities, etc, that make us the richest nation on earth.
Where Has America Gone? My family was Presbyterian, sort of. I was actually baptized Methodist, confirmed Presbyterian, mentored by an Anglican priest in college and a Nazarene Bible teacher, befriended by Catholics, African Baptists, Unitarians, Jews, and atheists, and married by a Baptist Army Chaplain. This is America to me.England in 1776 was a great military and political power, and Boston was controlled by the British. The thought of war against such a power was, or some time, unthinkable, but “taxation without representation” drove the farmers and merchants in the Colonies to arm themselves and prepare for the unthinkable. They forged themselves, in spite of their significant differences, to join together to form the United States of America.
Published in 1776, COMMON SENSE challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain. COMMON SENSE
Today, the struggle for Freedom continues. All Americans want Freedom. The discussion, then, is in the way that Freedom defines itself and plays out in our everyday lives. Now, as it has throughout history, there are two major visions of Freedom. One is based on a government sponsored definition of equality, a provision of utopian-like uniformity, an equal education for all, an equal provision of food, shelter, health care & fuel for all those living within America’s borders. In this instance, the government determines what an American is, what success is, what education is and who qualifies, and what is necessary to a successful “pursuit of happiness.” That is to say, the government determines what we each need, and then supplies it presumably better than we can tend our own needs. Are we all equal, or are we uniquely individual?
But is this not the same as a Government telling me how to live, how to pursue my own happiness, my own dreams? Is this not exactly what King George III and all other European tyrants did to their “peoples?”
Take the JULY 4TH 2012 QUIZand show
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The other voice resounds from the halls of the original Congress … It is a cry for “Individual Citizens’ Freedom.” It is a general rebellion against the tyranny of Europe, the rule of the political elite over the rest of the population, the ‘victimization’ of nearly half of the general population. It allows each man or woman to pursue their own strengths, dreams, and goals. It also allows the individual to fail, to learn from past mistakes, and try again. It allows one to soar in the heavens of accomplishment and reap the rewards, or reap the penalty of lethargy.
In BOTH cases, there is allowance for those genuinely limited by accident or birth. Various private or religious organizations exist for the purpose of tending the poor. It is barbaric and ignorant to suggest any human in America, let alone those in political office, intend harm on any individuals.
The great irony of our current political climate is that those who are crying for “increased equality” are, in fact, limiting it. I am comfortable with those of all or no faith, yet those of no faith are opposed to my freedom of worship. I am comfortable with those o differing political standings, but they will not tolerate my Conservatisim. I am comfortable with people of various races, ethnicities, or cultures, yet I’m railed against or being a “racist” by mainstream media! Seems to me like a radical case of the “pot calling the kettle black!” What we all USED to have in common were a simple universal code of decency, i.e. morality, and a respect for one another, our nation, and those who serve her in uniform (Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, First Responders, Nat’l Guard, & Reservists)
On this 4th of July, 2012, I am grateful for the different people, customs, and traditions I have had the privilege to experience. I know they have made me a wealthier person. I cherish my life, my liberties, and my right to pursue my own interests, dreams, and goals. I vow to continue to work toward the goal of making (and keeping) these liberties available to ALL American citizens for the next generation to maintain.
The CHOICE is yours and mine to make. Whether the individual rights and liberties of each American citizen outweigh the vision of the politically powerful elite to do what they believe is best for us all … that is what ELECTION 2012 is about. And where the Constitution fits in the overall scheme of things.