Happy Independence Day Team MOJO!
Today is the day that our country adopted the Declaration of Independence. This document is the United States’s mission statement. It seems in today’s culture that a great majority of folks don’t have any idea of what Independence Day stands for and/or why the Declaration of Independence is important. And in recent decades, revisionist history about the lack of its importance and its mis-guided attempt to invoke God in the founding of country seems to be in vogue. Let’s be clear, the Declaration of Independence is the best written document in human history of individual rights. At the time, it was written to declare their freedom from Great Britain but also, it was to address 27 “grievances” (curiously most of the 27 are in the form of judicial abuses–which could be said of today’s judiciary) in the proclamation citing “causes which impel them to the separation” and in the end saying humans should not be subjected to such “absolute Tyranny over these states” and in the most often quoted passage, we read
“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.”
This is America’s mission statement that rights come from God not from government. Before Jefferson’s famously penned the declaration he is said to have uttered this quote in the statehouse in Virginia ”
“God who gave us life gave us Liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” –Thomas Jefferson (1774)
There are many more examples of a Judeo Christian ethic in our founding of our country and I would recommend the book from Michael Novak “On Two Wings: the humble faith and Common Sense at the American founding” He did a deep dive in this subject with many quotes and citations of the founders diaries and letters which make the clear case of their viewpoint on God and his work in the founding our country.
Also, I found G.K. Chesterton the world renowned Catholic apologist most edifying because Chesterton was British and because he was so often right on the big items of which he analyzed. He said of America,
“America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just. It certainly does condemn anarchism, and it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived. Nobody expects a modern political system to proceed logically in the application of such dogmas, and in the matter of God and Government it is naturally God whose claim is taken more lightly. The point is that there is a creed, if not about divine, at least about human things.”
G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America
So perhaps you know about the importance of Declaration of Independence and God’s heavy influence in our founding and the founding documents. But perhaps you don’t know the rest of the story. As Paul Harvey’s show famous segment on his radio show revealed to us, “what happened to those 56 signers of the Declaration”
These are diffcult times in the United States in which the direction of the country is in clear doubt. I would highly recommend reading our founding documents and studying them starting with the Declaration. It can only make you a better American and a better human being. That is what we are after in Team MOJO building better Americans and better human beings! Enjoy your hard won FREEDOM!