I had the best view of the 18th Annual Midtown "Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade & Celebration." As I walked down the street, on my left and on my right I saw kids and their parents sitting in front of one lovingly preserved historic home after another, all celebrating "the birthday" of a once-prosperous, once-admired nation. Since I didn't get to see the entire parade, I hope they had something better to watch than a bunch of political candidates like me (and I know they saw quite a few).
And I hope they were celebrating an ideal, and not a nation. The ideal is "Liberty Under God." This ideal is embodied by the people I saw sitting on the sidewalks, not the political candidates in the parade; the ones who were enjoying a holiday from work, work which produces the goods and services that make my standard of living the highest in human history, not the politicians who burden their lives with regulations and threats.
The Declaration of Independence is, after all, a declaration of independence from government tyranny.
America -- a nation of "Liberty Under God" -- existed for more than a decade before the Constitution of 1787 created a federal government. It's not the federal government or the Constitution that makes America worth celebrating.
In fact, the name "America" goes back centuries before 1776. This land was settled by people fleeing tyranny and seeking to promote Christian civilization. As the NEW ENGLAND CONFEDERATION of 1643 put it: "We all came into these parts of America, with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Declaration of Independence did not change that end and aim on July 4th, 1776. In September of 1776, Delaware -- no longer a colony of Britain, but now assuming a "separate and equal station" "among the Powers of the earth" as an independent sovereign State -- drafted a new constitution which required of office-holders:
Art. 22. Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust . . . shall . . . make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: "I ________, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, Blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scripture of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration."
It wasn't until 1961 that the U.S. Supreme Court "discovered" that requirements like these were "unconstitutional." And a year later the Court made the same "discovery" about public schools:
Like many states, Nebraska, following the requirement of the U.S. Congress, patterned its state constitution after the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. That ordinance, and the Nebraska Constitution of 1875, both agreed on a fundamental fact about America:
Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
Unfortunately, the next generation of parade-goers may not know America's great end and aim. They may know nothing about Liberty Under God. They may know nothing about independence from government tyranny. In fact, they may learn about government tyranny up close and personal. After all, it is currently illegal for publik skool teechurs to tell their students that the Declaration of Independence -- which we celebrate on this day -- really is true. If you truly believe what the Declaration of Independence says, you cannot get a government job, serve on a jury, or become an American citizen, as I explained a week ago.
"Religion, morality, and knowledge" have all been removed from government and its schools. As long as this is true, America hasn't got a prayer. Like this prayer:
Our father's God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
Or this one:
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.
Celebrate America's past.
Pray for America's future.
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!