Declarations of Truth, Honor, and Independence

No discussion of Independence Day in the United States of America would be complete without talking about the document. The Declaration of Independence is more than a historical document. It is not a law or set of laws. It’s a statement of ideology. An ideology of truth, honor, and independence. An ideology that is controversial at times. And one of the documents that all Americans should know and study. Yet few of us know more than the famous lines and many argue over the meaning of specific words and phrases. If your memory is spotty, or you don’t know if you’ve read the document, take a moment to listen or read the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, the Second Congression Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Yet, most of the delegates had not signed it until later. Did you know that eight of the fifty-six delegates who signed the declaration were born in Great Britain? There are four major points covered by the Declaration. That All men have equal and God-given rights, When a government must be overthrown and a new government must be set up, When another revolution may be justified,”  And the declaration that we are free and a pledge […]

Underestimating the Value of Freedom

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” That’s a scary statement. Why on earth would he say something like that? To paraphrase him, freedom isn’t in our DNA. Freedom must be fought for and protected. Americans, particularly white middle-class folk like myself, underestimate the value of our freedom. And because we underestimate it, we lose bits and pieces of it and tell ourselves it will be okay. We underestimate how taking freedom from others also chips away at our freedom. We underestimate it because we make assumptions about what freedom is. Definition of Freedom Before you can fight for your freedom, understanding is necessary. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, freedom is “ 1: the quality or state of being free: such as a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: independence c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous freedom from care d: unrestricted use gave him the freedom of their home e: ease, facility spoke the language with freedom f: the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken answered with […]

Are You Celebrating or Losing Your Liberty?

This Fourth of July holiday is traditionally one of boisterous and colorful celebration. This year may not appear different on the outside, but it’s different. On this day we celebrate our country’s historic declaration of independence in 1776. The following year began the Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence. We won the war, and our liberty, at great cost. That liberty is part of what made this nation great. But not this year. This year, you could be celebrating or losing your liberty. There are certainly people within the United States of America who have lost their liberty and will lose their liberty in the future. Before we descend into the argument about who deserves liberty. Let’s talk about the word, “liberty.” Liberty We bandy the word about a lot in this country. A brief internet search uncovered Liberty Mutual Insurance, Liberty, Missouri and Liberty Schools, Liberty Tax Service, Liberty Media Corporation, and the Statue of Liberty. But liberty doesn’t mean insurance, or a town or any kind of corporation or business. Liberty is the quality or state of being free. Freedom from physical restraint, from arbitrary or despotic control, free to have the positive enjoyment of social, […]