The Fourth of July 2015: Two Questions To Ponder Today

Call In The Marines

The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 persons on the 4th of July. Yankee Doodle Dandy was born on the Fourth of July; both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on that date in 1826. They were the only two who became president of the United States.

All of the signers of the Declaration were men. All were white. They ranged in age from 26 to 70. Except for one signer who was a Catholic, all the rest were members of the Protestant religion.  32 were Episcopalian; 13 Congregationalists; 12 Presbyterians; 2 Quakers; and 2 were Unitarian or Universalists.

It is fair to say that the Declaration was the product of white male Christian thinkers and doers. Much overlooked is that these were serious people. Just before the place for signing the document were these words: “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.”  (my emphasis)

That pledge was not an idle pledge. The Declaration was a treasonous document as far as the King George III was concerned. It said of him,The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” 

At that time the British had a huge army and the Americans had no military force. There were scattered white men from the same background as the Signers who eventually came together under the command of our first president George Washington. They struggled to preserve the independence. In the interim the Signers knew that if the battle was lost their fortunes would be confiscated and their necks might well be fitted with ropes.

I often wonder where did those men have the courage to do this. In thinking of that I look at our leaders today and wonder what courageous act have any of them ever done. The Signers were willing to pledge their fortunes on this risky enterprise; now people seem to want to make their fortunes by becoming our leaders.

Today, the only ones who come close to pledging their lives for our country are those very few who willingly wear our country’s uniform. Unfortunately, they are little appreciated and usually ignored but mostly abused by the situations into which they have been put by our leaders.

Two things though seem to have been totally lost in the 239 years since that date: the idea that one has “sacred honor” and the reliance on the “protection of divine Providence.”  When was the last time you heard the word “sacred.” Its definition is that it is related to God or religion and has nothing to do with the secular. In a sense in a secular society where God has been put aside you have to wonder whether honor has also followed.

These men may not have gone forward with this rebellious act if they did not believe their cause was right and that being right they expected God, or in their words divine Providence, to protect them. They did not rely upon their fellows alone but called upon God to assist in their endeavor; and in doing that made their sacred pledge.

These men established a nation where not only white Protestant men could live and thrive but a nation where men and women of all races and colors could come and live. This they affirmed in the preamble to the Declaration when they said: “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.” 

The Declaration of Independence began with a statement about what God gave to men and ended with a request for God’s protection. It is something we must keep in mind when we are told we are a secular nation. That we are not.

Two questions we should consider today:

Could a country such as ours have been founded by people who did not believe in God?

Can a country founded upon the idea of God’s protection long endure if it turns from Him?

17 thoughts on “The Fourth of July 2015: Two Questions To Ponder Today

  1. Thank you Matt! A great read to start a day of reflection on how we’ve come to enjoy the freedoms too many grossly take for granted and how we could reset and move toward a better future in the next 239 years.

  2. Happy Forth Matt —- another great post. I remember years ago when the only thing you would worry about on the Fourth was whether you were going to get a Hoodsie over at Columbia Park. Then after standing in line with, it seemed like hundreds of Project Kids, you were handed one Ice Cream. Then after finishing the Hoodsie you would check to see whose picture was on the cover. You would feel great if Roy Rogers was on the cover. Then back to the Project for a game of Hand Baseball in your back yard where Shoo Murphy would hit several Homers out over the Arches. Great memories from another era. Keep up the great writing. SLAINTE

    1. JRC:

      True, I used to worry about getting a Hoodsie unti one 4th when I saw my uncle Bobby giving them out. Not only did I get a Hoodsie he also gave me a piece of hot ice which was almost as good as a Hoodsie watching it bubble away in a pail of water. You are right about Roy Rogers wh as you know was a relative. You are wrong when you say it was when I finished I looked for the picture under the cover; that was the first thing I did was to lick the cover to see who was there. That way the rest of the ice cream in the cup would last a little longer before I tore into it with the wooden spoon. Yes, Shoe Murphy was one of the kids that could put the ball through the archway for a home run; it took a major talent to do that but Murphy certainly had that unlike Albie Julian. Nice comment. SLAINTE

  3. Happy Fourth of July. Reagan told the Chinese Communists in 1984 that America was about faith, family and freedom. BHO told an audience in Turkey in 2009 that we are not a Christian nation. Our country won’t long endure if faith and families are diminished. BHO is not only inept but seriously confused. Great post.

    1. Turkey is an ally, a part of NATO, a secular state that is in a constant struggle with forces who would prefer an Islamic theocracy in Turkey and throughout the region.

      Here is what the President said on 8/6/09 in Ankara, Turkey

      “One of the great strengths of the United States, although as I mentioned we have a very large Christian population, but we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens, who are bound by ideals, and a set of values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principals. And yet what we are seeing in both countries that promise, a secular country that is respectful of religious freedom, that is respectful of rule of law, respectful of freedom, upholding these values, and being willing to stand up for them on the international stage if we
      are joined together in delivering that message, East and West to the world then I think we can have an extraordinary impact. “

      1. Kerry:

        Obams is a revisionist. A late 19th Century Supreme Court decision noted that our country was a Christian nation. The problem that Obama is engaged in wishful thinking not recognizing how his statement is self-contradictory. He says we are bound by ideals, and a set of values. He seems not to understand where those came from. They did not drop down on us out of the sky; they came because they were based on the values of Christians who established and ran the country for about 200 years. We are now transitioning away from being a Christian nation; the secular rule will change our way of doing business. The history of secular movements is that of being opposed to religions. If that holds then the idea of being “respectful of religious freedom” will also disappear.

        1. The Gettysburg Address is revisionist too. Lincoln’s revisionism was much more ambitious than Obama’s. Lincoln was preserving or more accurately creating the Union. In 2009 our new President was merely trying to subtly use his unique background in a diplomatic effort to help rebuild bridges and lower the levels of mistrust with the Muslim world. The Right chose to use that effort as a way to discredit Obama’s loyalty to his country and to our traditions.

          I don’t believe Obama aspires for the United States to become less of a Christian or religious country, but a president’s role is to work through commonalities and universals, especially when dealing with other nations and cultures.

          “Obama sees himself as a Burkean,” conservative [David] Brooks says. He sees his view of the world as a view that understands complexity and the organic nature of change.”
          http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/the-courtship

          It certainly is a good idea for the people to remember the Christian roots of our country. I’m not sure it has to be the job of the President to head up that effort.

          Taking the family out to India Point Park in Providence to see fireworks and the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

          Happy Independence Day everyone!

    2. NC:

      Happy Fourth to you and yours. As I wrote to Kerry, BHO wants to pretend our values and ideals just happened to fall out of the sky and they were not the product of a Christian nation.

  4. You might want to read this:
    http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fascinating-facts/

    “One of the most widely held misconceptions about the Declaration of Independence is that it was signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.”

    “Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the vote to approve the Declaration of Independence.”

    1. Ed:

      I’m familiar with the actual signing which did not take place for up to a month after the July 4 date but we do celebrate it as having been signed on that date just like I’m aware that Yankee Doodle Dandy was not really born on the 4th of July.

  5. Surprising that no one has mentioned the role of Freemasons in the founding of our great country. They called God the Grand Architect of The Universe, and that God could be any God based on individual beliefs and Who each man chose to worship.

  6. Yes … The Masons … Influential, and their motifs surprisingly/not so surprisingly pervasive if you look for them. Anyone got a dollar? 🙂 … The Scottish Rite, the death/rebirth initiation which has elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries are all steeped in mystic awareness . The Russian Bear, Perre Bezukov in WAR AND PEACE was one. They are discussed extensively in that novel. Any good annotated bibliography /commentary edition of MOBY DICK enlarges on Melville’s abundant allusions to the Freemasons. Yep …. They Masons be really Cool !!!

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