Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day...

(Below this post is a series of songs good on this particular day -- J.L.)

I hate it when people say 'Happy Fourth of July', because that is just a date - we might as well just say 'Happy (fill in the date)' every single day, and cheapen the meaning of this particular day.  That aside, I wanted to share a bit about what this day means.

I see a country out of that day which, for the first time, didn't make the rights of its citizens dependent on the part of men or a state, but on God above.  It was quite a radical shift - look at governmental structures previously: empires, absolute monarchs, democracies, feudal kingdoms, and the like.  Every single one of those previously made the rights of their citizens at the pleasure of the rulers, or in the case of a democracy, at the pleasure of 51% of their fellow citizens.

I see a country that allows unparalleled opportunity.  Much fun is made of the cliche 'you can grow up to be anything you want', but there is a certain truth to it - can you say that about many other countries?  Absolutely not.  Class is not part of our existence, and this is something that pains me when I hear politicians and commentators foment class warfare, because people can rise up.  People can control their own destiny; it's not controlled by some notion of 'station' that is so prevalent in other cultures.  I am glad for that.  Very glad.

I see a country that has been a force for good in its history.  No, I do not intend on whitewashing the negative aspects of American history, but on the whole the United States has been an exceptional place.  Sacrifices have been made for our own citizens as well as the citizens of so many other countries, and that is still going on even today, so that others may also be free.

Finally, I see a country that enables freedom.  We can speak freely without fear of reprisal.  We can practice the religion of our choice.  We can assemble, and again, we can control our own destiny.  There are those who desire to take those things away, for reasons known only to them, but the American spirit is much stronger than that, and the desire to keep control of our own destiny should be able to defeat any attempt to take away our freedom.  God bless America.

Happy Independence Day, everyone.

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