Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day Self-Examination

First, I would like to wish everyone who reads my blog a very happy Independence Day. The fact that I can sit here writing my unvarnished opinion on all these matters is truly a miracle, especially when you consider the series of events that had to occur in order for this to come to be.

Consider, for a moment, what was involved in that statement, the Declaration of Independence. In fact, you don't have to look much further than the title of the document itself. What does it mean to "Declare one's Independence"? One part of it is easy - we Americans have mastered it. It means, in part, to declare that you will no longer answer to authority. The first Americans stated plainly that they would rather suffer grievous loss - even die - rather than to continue to pay homage to a distant, foreign, and almost tyrannical ruler. Amazing. This collection of farmers and merchants (actually only about one third of the total population actually supported the Revolution) declared for the first time since Spartacus that they would no longer bow to the authority of their masters. No doubt many of them assumed that they would soon share Spartacus' fate.

But there is another, often overlooked element to a declaration of one's independence. Independence does not make one free from obligation, responsibility, duty, or toil. A person who is independent is simply not dependent on another. Somehow, over time, we've forgotten this critical element of our Liberty. We are great at refusing to pay homage - we are less great at actually being self-sufficient - independent if you will.

In fact, as a people, we are more dependent than ever. We depend on others for our food, for our fuel, for our security, for our retirement needs, for our health care, and even, in some cases, for our shelter. Our most basic human needs are being assumed by the Collective. I wonder, with shame, if the men who so bravely signed a defiant letter to the most powerful king on the planet at the time could have possibly foreseen a nation so socialistic, so weak, so...well...dependent. Would they be proud of us? Would they be proud of me? Would they be proud of you? Would they even recognize us? Or would they repudiate us in disgust for our failure to keep the Revolution alive?

The Revolution continues. In truth it never really ended. Even when the seeds of our Republic were sown, there were already those who felt that without a strong central government, the sheep could not survive. But that is not what I believe. I believe that there will always be a nucleus - often quiet, as now - who believe that it is the individual's responsibility and right to be truly free and responsible. I literally hope and pray that those people will rise up and reclaim what is rightfully ours - our precious, dearly-bought, God-given Liberty.

I invite each of you to examine yourselves, as I am doing this Independence Day. I beg you to measure yourselves against the bravery, selflessness, and long-sightedness of those original Patriots who first articulated our precious beliefs. And try to make our Fathers proud of you. I pray that you all have a safe, happy, and blessed day. May God Almighty bless our dear Republic, and may we continue the Revolutionary Struggle against tyranny in all its forms. Amen.