The Declaration of Independence
You know, I believe it is altogether fitting, considering what sacred event is being commemorated this week, that we quote the following, dated July 4th, 1776:
“WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and [of] Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
“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 Power[s] in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. …”
“WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATED OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by [the] Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of [a] Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; … 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.”
Under the hot fires of opposition, those last words were not idle words of rhetoric. As they pledged, so too they were required to give, some, even to the last full measure of devotion, their very lives.
Forgive me for a personal aside, but I have lived my life a free man, and most of that life I have been oblivious to the price that has been paid for me. Now, I pray the God of Heaven that He will open the eyes of my children, that they may hold fast to those freedoms which are slipping away. I pray that every person will make this Declaration of Independence anew, that in their own hearts they will declare their independence from every form of tyranny and oppression under the sun, for as it has once been said, when freedom is lost, only blood will buy it back.