This is our Independence Day

This is our Independence Day

Here’s a radical idea. America is good. It’s moral. It’s worth defending. On this Independence Day I want to tell you why.

It’s because of this simple idea, written into our Declaration of Indepedence:

“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.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in 1776 and asserted that these universal rights were self-evident.

Self evident? Maybe. Certainly not self-evident for the entirety of human existence before that moment. If they were self-evident to anyone, it was to Jefferson and the American Founders who were the first to codify such ideas into law.

The truth is that, before 1776, universal rights were never guaranteed by government. The notion that all men are created equal was never seriously considered, at least not in law. The shot heard around the world wasn’t at the Battle of Concord, it was those words in Philadelphia. That idea. That radical idea changed the course of human history forever.
 
It was those words that were used by abolitionists to abolish slavery, used by our Founders to frame the Constitution and our great Republic, and used by a free society to create more prosperity and actualize more dreams than any other civilization in history.

Many people think the Declaration of Independence was about independence. A revolt against the tyranny of the British. It was, of course, but I am betting none of you remember the long list of complaints against the British listed in the Declaration of Independence.

No, the part you remember is these words: we hold these truths.

You remember them because they dignified the individual, and codified the purpose of government: to protect your God given rights.

The Declaration of Independence came in a time period that wasn’t ready for it. It took years of sacrifice to live up to those principles, and we are still trying to this day.

But it was those words, and our founding documents that gave us the principles to fight for. It was the moment we finally wrote down the greatest ideas that mankind has ever had.

This Independence Day isn’t just about celebrating a break from the British. Its about the great idea that America embodies.

It’s about celebrating the story of America. The right story of America – not tearing it down.

It’s a day of remembering what America is – the greatest country in the world, where people of all races, creeds, and political persuasions strive together to live up to the ideals upon which America was founded.

It’s about time we stand up for those ideas, and our great Founding.
 
Happy Independence Day. God Bless America.

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