Friday, July 3, 2009

American Reflections on the Fourth of July

Americans make big party plans for the Fourth of July and that extra day off of work. Faster than you can say “Fourth of July” some TV talk show host will interview people on the street to see if they know what “Independence Day” means. The answers will be hilarious, yet sad.

Recent surveys of students and their parents born after 1965 reveal that a majority don’t know what the American Revolution was or when and why it was fought. They haven’t a clue what’s in the Declaration of Independence.

The passionate, temporary wave of patriotism and spirituality after 9/11/01 had a backlash. In a valid attempt to show acceptance and understanding for the many innocent people who shared the nationality and religion of the 9/11 suspects, we began an over-the-top movement to “accept everything.” Patriotism has been belittled by activists who say the founding fathers should be ashamed that they didn’t get rid of slavery within the Declaration of Independence; that “freedom for all” turned out to be “freedom for some.”

But in our quest for wanting everything immediately in this fast-paced, Twittering society, Americans forget that freedom came in stages. We can’t have everything now, now, now. We are of little faith to wait for anything, and we don't have a great deal of foresight.

The great William Wilberforce worked to abolish slavery in England throughout his adult life. It happened there in 1833. In America, some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 worked tirelessly for the rest of their lives to see slavery abolished in America, and handed down the effort to those who came after them. Almost a hundred years later, in 1865, it was achieved.

These men had faith and sight - a vision of freedom. Most Americans lack that faith and sight today. The same lack of insight that condemns how the colonies obtained freedom from Great Britain is the same lack of insight that doesn’t understand why we fight terrorism abroad today. If we don’t fight it elsewhere, it could reach our shores. But the battle can’t be won in a day.

A copy of the Declaration of Independence can be seen here.

1 comments:

AmericanAngle July 17, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

Fantastic article. Before the grill is fired up & the kids jump in the pool I make sure they understand it is because of our Defenders of Freedom and this God blessed country that we are Free & Independent enough to enjoy the “Fourth of July” festivities.

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