“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”Continue reading “The declaration we need”
Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder. — GEORGE WASHINGTON
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. — GEORGE WASHINGTON
The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. — JOHN ADAMS
Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. — ALEXANDER HAMILTON
A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one. — ALEXANDER HAMILTON (NOTE: I really don’t like those “TWEET THIS” features, but in this case… TWEET THIS QUOTE!!!!)
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them. — THOMAS JEFFERSON
“The year 1776, celebrated as the birth year of the nation and for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was for those who carried the fight for independence forward a year of all-too-few victories, of sustained suffering, disease, hunger, desertion, cowardice, disillusionment, defeat, terrible discouragement, and fear, as they would never forget, but also of phenomenal courage and bedrock devotion to country, and that, too they would never forget.” ― David McCullough,
I love American History. David McCullough’s book, The American Spirit, is breathing new hope into my heart this season. In the mockery of what is happening currently, his words are so refreshing. I also look to history and those who were part of shaping our nation. Those were days of hope and courage. I need those words again.
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. 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…
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.
I love July 4, fireworks, patriotic songs, movies about the Revolution… all of it. That cop that sings “God Bless America” at Yankees games gets me every time I hear his wonderful tenor voice.
But my allegiance isn’t here. It is in another land. Another place. Another kingdom.
The country of my birth is a place I love. The Kingdom I serve and can’t wait to see in full is far greater. As is my King. To him, and his Kingdom, I will always pledge allegiance.
God bless America.
The week is slipping by and with my wife still out of town, I’ve had a hard time remembering what day of the week I’m on!
July 3, so let’s feature one great quote from a writer of the Revolution, Thomas Paine. People just don’t talk this way anymore:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”
I was away for the 4th, so I didn’t get to post too much on the 4th, and then have the angst over why as Christians we wrestle with celebrating the 4th… blah, blah, blah…
You can find the angst elsewhere. I wrestle with those issues as well… but on the 4th I love the fireworks, the music, the fun.
When I left New Orleans to go to Mobile, Alabama on July 1, I took a cab to the airport to pick up a rental car. My driver was an immigrant from Costa Rica. He had come here four years ago, taken his ESL classes for two years at the University of New Orleans, and was now in his business program. He spoke of the hope he has for this country. He spoke of opportunity. He spoke of hard work and rising up to be anything he could dream.
One of the things I think every American should go watch is a naturalization ceremony. The one I went to a year ago was like a NASCAR rally. Over 900 immigrants were there to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. They sang “God Bless the USA” and the Star Spangled Banner. They said the pledge. They swore their oath to the U.S.
I’m fairly sure even a Tea Party hardliner would have loved that ceremony.
I love Jesus and my allegiance to him will far outweigh my allegiance to anything else. But spending the 4th with my oldest son and his wife, her family, and watching fireworks, along with meeting Pablo, I can easily say I love the 4th as well. It’s still a great country. It’s still a place of opportunity. There is still evidence of the DNA that was formed with this nation. It is still a great place to live.
Let freedom ring. We can return the angst tomorrow.
One greeting that catches my attention every year is “Have a happy and SAFE 4th of July.” Or, “Have a SAFE holiday.”
I would suppose they simply mean, “Don’t go blow yourself up.”
Have a SAFE 4th of July? As I reflect on independence, “safe” isn’t one of those words I come up with. That is not to say I want you to go blow yourself up. But, we’ve taken a national holiday and turned into safety camp.
This is a day of celebration, for Americans, concerning independence. Something declared in the cauldron of war with the risk of being executed if they could not win that war. “Safe” just isn’t one of those words that should be associated with well wishes on this holiday.
And don’t go blow your hand off, okay?