What is Independence and the 4th of July all about?

independenceThe dictionary describes independence as:  The fact or state of being independent.

self-governmentself-rulehome ruleseparationself-determinationsovereigntyautonomyfreedomliberty  “the struggle for national independence”  self-sufficiencyself-relianceautonomyfreedomliberty  “he valued his independence”

So I ask you again.  What is independence and why do we celebrate it on the 4th of July?

Our nation was formed because men were tired of being ruled by a Tyrant King.  One who did not have the people or their rights in mind.  He also did not believe that a person could choose their religion or preach as they saw fit.  The people wanted their independence; their ability to make their own decision as individuals, fathers, mothers, men of a community and eventually of a new country.

Some, such as the King, saw them as radicals.  That didn’t stop them though.  They knew a God bigger than the king and knew he gave them the freedom as individuals to stand for that which they believed.  God’s laws always trump mans.  But if God’s laws are not being violated then we are to obey the law of men.  When a person cannot worship or raise their families based on truth then as they did, saw it no longer necessary to stay.

A poem of prayerThey as a people decided to find and create a country which was based on solid ground; on God’s foundation.  The King allowed this only because he saw it as a business venture, but for the pilgrims it gave them the freedom to worship as they pleased.  This was so important that they stayed on the boat even after spending sixty-six days at sea to pray.  Not just for a minute but for two entire days.  They wanted to make sure what they were about to start was based on truth.

Mans need for independence from England and the King was costly. The  fifty-three men who signed the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. For many of these fifty-three men that was the price. They lost their lives, fortunes even their wives and children, but they never lost their honor. In the end their Declaration of Independence on that day prevailed.  A day in America we celebrate on the 4th of July every year.  That is the day when as a nation we began our fight for independence in earnest, our seven-year fight for independence  and freedom.

Freedom, however, does not last unless men and women see freedom as keeping their independence.  Our country today is seen as free yet many of our rights have been slowly eroded and taken away.

soldier holding a bibleWe have our military where men and women serve to keep us free.  I believe it will take more than “Men At Arms” to keep a country free though.  It takes the heart of the independent people.  The citizens themselves to stand against leaders within our own country.  Ones that try to abuse our constitution and what it stands for.  “Evil will abide where good men choose to do nothing.”  If you think a nation of free people can’t be taken and ruled, then think again.  Idleness promotes evil.  It gives it a foothold.  That statement is true whether it’s you as an individual, your kids, community and or country.  One leads to another like the effect of the domino.

In order to keep our independence and still have laws the constitution of the United States was written on September 17, 1787.  This document, written by Christians and presented to the people, allowed freedom of religion and stated that “All men are created equal.”  And that our natural rights and freedom originate from God, not government.

That is why our Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee not what rights are granted to us by the government but what rights the government shall not take away from us.

Flag and FreedomThe Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights are what Independence means.  This is also why we celebrate the 4th of July.

Live free and Independent and Let Freedom Ring.

-Heather Earles

Proclamation of Thanksgiving by President George Washington, 1789


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