“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…”
And so our founding fathers declared our independence, fully acknowledging that those inalienable rights came from the Creator. They understood their quest for liberty was dependent upon their reliance on Him.
Their words also foresaw the coming attacks on the foundation of that liberty, as expressed by Thomas Jefferson, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God?”
Many years later Ronald Reagan reiterated that sentiment with eloquence and simplicity, still seeing a specific need for us to remember from where our liberty is derived when he said "If we ever forget that we are one nation under god, then we will be a nation gone under.”
Despite the best efforts of those who insist upon our becoming a secular nation, the spirits and philosophies of Jefferson and Reagan live on. And they live on because of the commitment to preservation of our founding principles by those who value God given liberty.
I will be forever optimistic of America’s future knowing there are those among us who have not forgotten that liberty is God’s gift and have not turned from God. They refuse to succumb to the ceaseless attacks of those who endeavor to define our liberty as the fruit of man’s labor alone, not a gift bestowed upon us by the Almighty.
No matter the challenge, the humble defense of and concession to our Godly founding principles will provide perseverance in the face of far greater calamities than we’ve ever experienced. After the devastating loss of life at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed our endurance in the face of catastrophe, an attribute which still describes America, “…this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
It is this type of leadership and the sacrifice of those who have not forgotten the origin of our liberty, who have committed themselves to this country’s guidance and its defense that have carried us through trial and tumult.
And this country will stand strong as long as there are those among us whose words and deeds are distinctly patriotic, distinctly American, and unquestionably reflect a love of God and country. There is no need for them to explain how or why their actions or words are patriotic, they simply are. They possess a transparency which lets all of us see their hearts and minds wrapped in the stars and stripes. They do not have to clarify each of the seven degrees of separation from patriotism they are to finally define themselves as such. All of us who hear their words and see their actions know we stand in the presence of a true patriot.
We see them standing silently through the entire “Star Spangled Banner” at football games with a tear running from the corner of their eye. We see them standing with hands over their hearts well in advance of the American Legion color guard marching Old Glory down the street during the hometown parade. We hear them speaking publicly to the best this nation has to offer, not forever finding fault with everything our country stands for. They do not blame America first, they are the first to stand and defend it.
They carry on the traditions of Patrick Henry, famous for the stand he took for liberty, “Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
I am confident of this great nation’s future because of those young men and women who unselfishly commit themselves to our liberty. We see this devotion living on in our young Marines and soldiers fighting through the streets of Fallujah and the mountains of Tora Bora. Daniel Webster spoke to their commitment to God and country when he said, “God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.” As long as there are those whose love of country and liberty supersedes their love of self, we can all be confident the dreams of our forefathers will continue to be realized.
Those who comprehend, acknowledge, and then act in accordance with the triune of God’s hand in our lives, the liberties he bestows upon us, and translucent patriotism give all of us hope and ensure optimism for the longevity and strength of our nation.
“…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.” As long as we firmly rely upon the Divine and have those willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and honor to lead and defend us, those words written as a pledge in our Declaration of Independence will remain forever relevant and resolute.