Happy Fourth Of July And Weekend Open Thread

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Today marks the 238th anniversary of this amazing country, one with such improbable beginnings and system of governance. The courage of those who literally puts their lives on the line during the Revolutionary War amazes still.

And then there is the foresight and wisdom of those who crafted the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Truly what the Founders composed for this nation is awesome in the true sense of the word. I don’t know about you, but it has been a long time since I read the Declaration of Independence. Here, then, is that most precious of documents from the National Archives:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.

Powerful then, and powerful still today, are the words of our Founders (okay, not the part about the “Indian savages,” though at that time and place, things were different than now, which we must bear in mind), especially in light of the discussions of President Obama’s executive overreach.

I am struck by the sheer beauty of the language, so lost now, as well as the weight and gravity of those words. How moving they are. I cannot help but consider What tremendous courage and strength these people demonstrated to go against the most powerful nation in the world at the time. It is, in short, awe-inspiring. How grateful I am to them for this great nation. I am honored to celebrate this 238th Independence Day.

In celebration of this day, I have a couple of videos for you. The first was taken in Washington, DC, and has some great music with it:

And the second one is the end of the classic 1812 Overture performed by the Boston Pops:

I hope you and yours have a Happy Fourth of July and I also want to wish my middle brother a Happy Birthday today. This is your Weekend Open Thread!

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15 Responses to “Happy Fourth Of July And Weekend Open Thread”

  1. insanitybytes22 Says:

    Happy 4th of July, Rev Amy! We really are blessed to live in such a wonderful country in spite of all the political headaches she gives us. Democracy and freedom are a bit like love, messy, crazy, painful, scary, but ultimately, so worth pursuing and preserving.

  2. GinaR Says:

    Thanks for posting the Declaration of Independence, Amy. It’s been decades since I’ve read the whole thing, and so much of what forced the Colonies to demand independence seems to be happening today! Contrary to so many liberals, I AM proud of this country! I’m not so proud of the liberals or our government, but America IS an exceptional country and while we may be losing our way, I pray it’s only temporary.

    Happy Independence Day!!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much for the great comment, Gina. Like you, it had been ages for me, too. And I, too, was struck by the similarities…

      Indeed, it is a great country, and the ones who seem to think it isn’t forget that the reason they are able to say so is precisely because it allows them that freedom.

      Hope everyone is having a great Fourth!

    • justine Says:

      I agree. Thanks for posting the Declaration of Indepence. Reading it really makes you proud of our history and questioning our future. (Interesting was the “unanimous Declaration” part. I doubt in these days anything could be passed unanimously.)
      .

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Happy 4th of July all! Here’s a cartoon that might give you a chuckle… or not.

  4. foxyladi14 Says:

    Happy 4th friends.
    Let Freedom Ring!!!! 🙂

  5. foxyladi14 Says:

  6. foxyladi14 Says:

    A spy caught!!!! 🙂

    http://nypost.com/2014/07/04/german-intelligence-worker-arrested-for-spying-for-us/

  7. foxyladi14 Says:

    I hope you are enjoying the vacation Amy. 🙂

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks, Foxy – it was a great vacation! Nice to be home with the babies and all (we got in a little while ago), but it was a great trip. So many horses, so little time!

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