Happy (Kind Of) Independence Day

liberty bell w_fireworksWell, this is certainly a different kind of post for me. But this 4th of July celebration falls upon a week of much uproar over the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. At the heart of the fall out is basically disagreement regarding individual rights and religious freedom. There have been plenty of posts dissecting, analyzing, supporting, castigating or otherwise blasting the decision. To be sure, there has been over-the-top fact-twisting rhetoric amid some calmer, knowledgeable and more insightful pieces on this decision. So much has been written so there is no need to add to that pot.

But the uproar over the case does make me reflect on what it says about where we are as a country. At the same time July 4th gives us opportunity to reflect on who we were established to be as a country. And I find the contrast kind of ironic.  Why do I say that? July 4th is a commemoration of colonists declaration of independence from Britain. It was a group of people who said no to government tyranny and its ability to rule over the conscience of the 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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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