Thank you I.T., and good morning gentlemen.
I would like to start today with a prayer
for our troops, so if you would, please, bow your heads
and join me.
Today there are about half a million , American men
and women –
stationed in 150 countries around the world.
We pray You keep them safe,
we pray You keep them strong,
we pray You send them safely home ...
Bless those who await their safe return.
And Bless the friends and relatives
who mourn the casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan:
The MIAs, the 34,377 (31354+ 3023) wounded,
and the 5,036 (4,324 +712) Killed In Action. (as of
In Jesus name we ask ...Amen.
[Revolutionary war: 4,435 deaths].
(wounded & KIA numbers)
Moses is standing at bottom of a mountain,
a stone tablet in each hand, and as he looks up towards
clouds above the mountain, he says:
Now let me get this straight: The Arabs
get all of the oil, and we have to cut the ends off
And now, to get more serious for a few minutes, at the
beginning of this day, the 233rd birthday of our nation.
Late in the day on the 4th of July, 1776, King George
III, unaware of the work of fifty-six men in Philadelphia,
wrote in his diary, “Nothing of importance this
Most countries do not begin with a statement
of why they are beginning. Most cannot produce a document
that says why the country is being built, and for what
it will stand. The United States of America has such
The Declaration of Independence created
this nation by a purposeful act, on a specific day -
the Fourth of July, 1776.
The Declaration remains the most noble,
famous, and powerful statement of the basis of government
ever written. It is unique. It has shaped a people and
a nation, and it has helped to shape the world.
Thirteen years after the Declaration
was signed, and following a difficult war to secure
that independence, and a difficult process to write,
ratify, and implement a constitution, the new country
was up and running, taking its place on the world stage.
It was truly unique -- the first nation
in all of history in which the individual was considered
more important than the government, and the government
was tied down by a written constitution. In the words
of Thomas Jefferson, QUOTE In questions of power, then,
let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind
him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution
END QUOTE. And the strongest of those chains were to
be found in the Bill of Rights, which was a set of restrictions
on the federal government, and where the words “no,”
“nor,” and “not” appear 18 times,
to make it clear that the government was proscribed
from infringing on what the Declaration of Independence
had described as our unalienable, God given rights,
such as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness. The Bill of Rights described some of these
rights in detail, and for about the next hundred and
fifty years, our federal government understood that,
in the words of the Declaration of Independence, we
are endowed with these rights by our Creator (not by
the government); that the government derives its just
powers from the consent of the governed; and the job
of the government is to secure these pre-existing rights.
The Founders referred to “God” in the very
first sentence of the Declaration, and to the “Creator”
in the second sentence of the Declaration.
In all, the Declaration contains five references to
God and is the official and unequivocal affirmation
by the Founders of their belief and faith in God. It
affirms God's existence as a "self-evident"
truth that requires no further discussion or debate.
And this was not just the opinion of the founders.
Nearly fifty years after the fact, Jefferson
explained to soldier and statesman Henry “Light-Horse
Harry” Lee what he intended when he wrote the
Declaration. Here is, arguably, the most consequential
political document in the world, which Jefferson described
as just good old American common sense: According to
Jefferson, QUOTE [the Declaration] was intended to be
an expression of the American mind, and to give to that
expression the proper tone and spirit called for by
the occasion. All its authority rests then on the harmonizing
sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation,
in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books
of public right…END QUOTE.
So, during the early years of the nation,
the “American mind,” and the “harmonizing
sentiments of the day,” included an acknowledgement
(as described in the Declaration) of God as supreme
Lawmaker, God as Creator of all men, God as the Source
of all rights, God as the world's supreme Judge, and
God as our Protector on whom we can rely.
But that was then, and this is now.
Now, one faction of the “American Mind”
consisting of elected and appointed officials in all
three branches of our federal government, is engaged
in vicious anti-Christian and anti-God efforts. Some
- In the executive branch, President
Obama is poised to rescind a Bush administration regulation,
the “conscience rule, ” that protects health
care workers who refuse to participate in or perform
abortions or other medical procedures that violate their
- The Pentagon, has issued warnings
to military bases worldwide, to not sponsor Boy Scout
troops because Scouts are required to believe in God!
- On the current legislative front,
many Christians fear that the unintended consequences
of enacting “Hate Crime” and “Hate
Speech” legislation could result in clergy being
prosecuted if someone commits a hate crime, such as
an unprovoked violent act against a pedophile, because
of a sermon or pastoral counseling, labeling certain
sexual practices as immoral.
- Sadly, the Judicial branch is probably
the worst offender. Some examples:
- In 1962 The
Supreme Court ended school-sponsored prayer, and in
2000 they reaffirmed that decision by saying a Texas
school district was giving the impression it was sponsoring
Christian prayers by letting students use loudspeakers,
under the direction of a faculty member, for prayers
before sports events.
- In 2005, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton
declared the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional
because, he says, the words "under God" violate
a child's right to be "free from a coercive requirement
to affirm God."
- In 2008, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in
Philadelphia held that The East Brunswick (NJ) school
board was within its rights to tell a football coach
he cannot kneel and bow his head as members of his team
have a student-led pre-game prayer; and, just four months
ago the Supreme Court of the USA allowed that decision
to stand by refusing to hear an appeal by the football
- And, I’m sure you all recall the incident a
few years ago when the courageous Alabama Chief Justice
Roy Moore was removed from office for displaying the
Finally, perhaps the most bizarre examples
of this nonsense, are the public schools where teachers
have had to file lawsuits because they were forbidden
by their principals or school boards to use certain
historical documents in class - documents such as the
Declaration of Independence, Washington’s Thanksgiving
Proclamation, etc. - because they contain some references
to God and religion! How can anyone, especially a school
principal, be so daffy as to embrace the idea that the
Founders intended that we ban the Declaration of Independence
from our nation’s classrooms? …
233 years ago, fifty-six men, following
two months of hard work, as spring turned into summer
in hot Philadelphia, concluded the document that resulted
from their efforts with these immortal words, QUOTE
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm
Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we
mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes,
and our sacred Honor. END QUOTE. If any of them were
alive today, I wonder what they would think of how poorly
we have served as custodians of the document expressing
the “American mind” and the “harmonizing
sentiments of the day,” to which they pledged
their Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor.
Today, this Fourth of July, many of our leaders and
citizens, have lost that “American Mind”
and those “harmonizing sentiments of the day,”
which Jefferson described. Let us pray that those who
have lost it, recover it, and that includes, as does
the Declaration of Independence, an acknowledgement
of God as supreme Lawmaker, God as Creator of all men,
God as the Source of all rights, and God as the world's
In closing, let me leave you with a
quote from a great American patriot – Ben Rogge,
Dean of the college and professor of Economics at Wabash,
when I was a student there: Ben Rogge once wrote, "Given
man's nature, freedom will always be in jeopardy and
the only question that need concern each of us is if
and how well we took our stand in its defense during
the short period of time when we were potentially a
part of the struggle."
If you are not already part of that
struggle, I hope you will join those of us who are.
God Bless America, especially on this
day. (Do I hear an “Amen”?)
This was supposed to be the end of my
presentation today; but someone, who shall remain nameless,
suggested that I ask your indulgence for another minute
or two, as I share with you, something that I sent out
to a bunch of folks, including some of you, on the 4th
of July 1999, ten years ago. So here it is.
MB090704extra (originally distributed as 7/4/99 Encl)
It begins with a question: Was the document which we
call the Declaration of Independence (capital D capital
I), really a declaration of independence (small “d,”
And the answer is, well, yes and no.
First, some support for the “no”
To begin with, the document which we call the Declaration
of Independence, was not called by that name at the
time it was signed. Thomas Jefferson, in making the
first draft of the document, titled it: A Declaration
by the Representatives of the United States of America,
in General Congress assembled. This title was used on
all copies of the document except for the final, engrossed
parchment copy, which was styled: The unanimous Declaration
of the thirteen united States of America.
The primary purpose of the document, as explained in
the first paragraph, was not to declare independence,
but rather, to announce to the world the reasons for
declaring independence. It was intended as a formal
announcement of an act already accomplished. About a
month earlier [June 7], Richard Henry Lee, on behalf
of the Virginia delegation, submitted a resolution to
the Continental Congress that “these United Colonies
are, and of right ought to be, free and independent
States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to
the British Crown, and that all political connection
between them and the State of Great Britain is, and
ought to be, totally dissolved.” Lee’s resolution,
when finally approved by the Continental Congress on
July 2, 1776 , was actually the official declaration
And now, some support for the “yes” answer.
Perhaps the strongest argument that the document which
we call the Declaration of Independence, is a declaration
of independence, is that Richard Henry Lee’s resolution,
as approved by the Continental Congress, appears, word
for word, in the last paragraph of the document. In
other words, the Continental Congress declared independence
by approving Lee’s resolution on July 2, 1776,
and they declared independence again on July 4, 1776,
when they approved the document known to all of us today
as the Declaration of Independence.
And that, as Paul Harvey use to say, is the rest of
Thank you for your attention, and enjoy celebrating
the rest of America’s 233rd birthday.
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