It’s almost Independence Day. Although we usually don’t call it that, but most often refer to the holiday simply as the Fourth of July.
Associated with our Independence Day celebration are fireworks, picnics, pool parties, barbecues, and lots of outdoor fun. Previously, I have written about summer food safety and yummy salad and sandwich ideas and healthy cool Popsicles. Today, I want to focus on the meaning of this holiday.
Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The declaration asserted rights for all people: “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.”
We have a proud and unique heritage as our laws are based on the laws in given Scripture.
“For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22).
—Acknowledged by James Madison as the inspiration for the 3 branches of our government, judicial, legislative, and executive
George Washington gave a farewell speech which was heralded as the most significant political speech ever given to the nation. It has since been removed from American history books. He said: “Of all the habits and dispositions which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars.”
In 1892 Trinity vs. the US, The Supreme Court stated that we are a religious nation, ”Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It’s impossible that it should be otherwise; and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” And “No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation.”
Guarding Our Heritage
Our country has been blessed beyond imagination. It’s a heritage that needs guarding. The first way we guard our freedoms is to know what they are. Kids are great at memorization. During this time of commemorating our freedoms, not only wave the flag, but focus on what the day is about. Have your kids memorize the Preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Then during your celebration, have the kids recite them. They will impress everyone!
The original Constitution was completed September 17, 1787. It didn’t directly address individual rights. Its purpose was to establish a strong government in the wake of the failed Articles of Confederation, which was our country’s first governmental plan. The Constitution consists of seven articles that address legislative power, executive power, judicial power, states’ power, amendments, federal power and ratification.
The Bill of Rights was introduced by James Madison (the fourth president) in 1789 and became the first 10 Constitutional Amendments in 1791.
It’s imperative to teach our children the heritage left to them by our Founding Fathers. Without knowledge, we will perish. Scripture says in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Preamble to the United States Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.