Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Independence Day

(My apologies for not posting this earlier today. I was walking with Ed Bryant and several of his supporters in Farragut's Independence Day Parade.)

We often see photographs of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, D.C. That's all well and good, but it's my opinion that we don't see the photograph of "the real thing" nearly enough.

This from the Family Research Council:


What's So Glorious about the Glorious Fourth?

And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty
II Corinthians 3:17

Everyone should be a patriot. Whatever your country, whoever your people are, you should love your land and love your countrymen. And where does this love of country begin? That great English friend of liberty, Edmund Burke, said it began in the home. "We begin our public affections in our families No cold relation is a zealous citizen." So it's not surprising that we who stress the importance of the family in American life also foster the celebration of patriotism. Many countries have beautiful vistas, grand architecture, and stunning achievements to celebrate. As Christians in America, we have all that and more. We have liberty. The great contests of today are all about liberty. For some, liberty means they can burn a flag or put a virtual picture of an unclothed minor on the Internet. They think liberty means they can end a pregnancy or end a marriage--on demand. We hold to an older view of liberty. We believe that we are all created equal. And we believe that our Creator is the one who endows us with our natural rights. Today, that belief is challenged. In Europe, in Canada, and in America, a different view of human rights is advanced. This view says that our rights are those--and only those--that we as a human community can agree upon.

Thomas Jefferson did not agree with the modern thought of "rights". He said "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." America's Founders agreed with Jefferson on this. And when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he was not speaking only as one brilliant young delegate from Virginia. That document, he said, "was to be an _expression of the American mind." We should not be surprised that the author of the Declaration of Independence thought that religious liberty was the first of freedoms, the foundation for all other liberties. That's why, we believe, the First Congress put religious liberty first among the freedoms listed in the First Amendment. Jefferson went further. He said an attack on religious liberty was an attack on liberty itself.

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 their liberties are the gifts of God, that they are not to be violated but with His wrath?

Daily, we see militant efforts in our schools, in our colleges and universities, in our public media, to remove that conviction from the minds of the people. When an outstanding young high school graduate has her microphone turned off because she might mention Jesus, we see this militant spirit at work. When members of Congress try to ban by law the mention of Jesus' name in our military, that same militant spirit is working its will. Attacking God, they also attack liberty. When we think of the Fourth of July, we remember holidays past. We remember our grandparents and aunts and uncles, many of them now gone to be with the Lord. We celebrate the joys of today and we look forward with hope to the prospects of future "Glorious Fourths." We pray that our family circle will be unbroken here and beyond. It should be a day of family picnics, trips to the lake, and blankets spread out for a concert of "Stars and Stripes Forever" followed by fireworks. Let us celebrate with baseball, hot dogs, apple pie. We should rejoice in the good things God has provided. We should also remember those brave young Americans who are serving around the world to keep us free. I pray that you and yours will have a glorious Fourth of July.

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