Independence Day. The very words send shivers up my spine, I cry when I hear the National Anthem. I LOVE my country, and my gratitude to the Signers of the Declaration of Independence is profound.
I have pondered lately the squandering of freedom, the squandering of independence.
In 1776, in sweltering heat, 56 men came together to sign a document declaring our independence from England. A treasonous act; still they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
What does "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor" mean exactly? For me, this is nearly equivalent to the sacrifice of the Savior. He gave EVERYTHING for us; our Founding Father's did close to the same, willing to give their very lives if necessary. We have an amazing legacy.
However, things are going downhill fast; spiraling out of control faster than you can say "bail out".
Where did this idea come from that government grants us liberties?
The Declaration of Independence clearly states what our Founders position was:
"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..."
Government is to be at the disposal of the people, not the other way around. We hire them to do only what we already have the power to do for ourselves.
Bastiat reminds us that "Life, liberty and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."
That is what our Founding Fathers sacrificed for; what they pledged for, so that we could be our own masters, so we would not be burdened with a tyrannical government, and make no mistake, we are beginning to feel the tyranny now.
I could make a list, but I think you all know what we've lost; what continues to be discarded like yesterday's trash.
Go and read the Declaration of Independence to your families today. Then read the Constitution, and the first 10 Amendments in the next week.
There is nothing in either document about a "right to work", a "right to own a home", a "right to health care", a "right to retirement funds". All of those things fall under the right to be happy, but you get to make your own happiness; to determine your own path, and the government is supposed to protect us so we can.
Latter-Day Conservative has a great definition of fundamental rights from Joel Skousen:
"Funamental rights are those rights which all people can simultaneously claim, without forcing someone to serve their needs."
Our fundamental rights are being violated every day.
It's not about "Left" and "Right", "Liberal" and "Conservative"; it's about "Right and Wrong". If it's not in the Constitution, then it's wrong, and we are being stripped of our rights on a regular basis.
It's time to wake up; to get motivated to speak up.
We are told as members of the Church that our acceptance of the Gospel may cause friends and loved ones to shun us.
The next great cause that may engender the same outcome is Patriotism; that love of country that causes us to stand up and be counted; to be heard.
Our Founding Father's gave us this legacy, it's our job to make sure it can be passed on.
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