Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The American Way

Well, just wanted to give a shout out to our country, the United States of America, and share some thoughts and feelings I have concerning this day. (Readers be warned: there probably won't be a lot of humor in this post; I'm going to attempt to be serious, so read at your own peril.)
Will and I recently saw the new Superman movie. I really enjoyed the movie and recommended it; but there was one part that bothered me just a little. In the other Superman movies, the man of steel stood 'truth, justice and the American way.' In this newest one, the screenwriters played to the sentiment of the day and changed the wording of the phrase to 'truth, justice and that other stuff.'
It seems in the world today, the 'American Way' is mocked and ridiculed by people both foreign and domestic; those who espouse such a mind set are deemed at 'radical' or 'old-fashioned' in their thinking. The George Clooney's, Natalie Maines', Howard Dean's, Alec Baldwin's and Susan Sarandon's of the world would have us believe that America is the tyrant of the world, pushing around the world to accept our way of government. They would have us believe those who fight for our peace and safety are murderers, thugs and rapists. This is a hasty generalization, an unfounded assertion based on the actions of a minute contingent of immoral military men. Yet we would be led to believe it is common occurence.
I love this country; I love the precepts upon which it was founded. The wording of the Declaration of Independence, written my Thomas Jefferson and championed in the First Continental Congress by John Adams, strengthens my belief in the goodness of this cause called Independence. Below are some excerpts of the Declaration.

"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 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...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...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...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."

There should be little doubt the Founding Fathers of our country were men of deep faith in a Supreme Being, who were courageous and honorable me. It has been said they were the best the Lord had on the earth at the time. And of the 56 men who signed the document, the oldest was Benjamin Franklin, age 71; the youngest, Edward Rutledge at 26. As a result of their conviction to the cause of independence, these men were forced to make terrible sacrifice. Five of the signers were captured as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary War; another had two sons captured. Nine died from wounds or from the hardships of the war.
Yet these were men who did not back down, who did not yield to the enemy of freedom. Liberty was the cause and they championed it until their deaths. I believe these men were inspired by God to set up a nation where religion was a right to be had by all, where the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be brought forth and prosper.
While I've mostly just rambled incoherently, I'll conclude with this. I love this country; I admire the men who pledge their lives, fortune and sacred honor for the establishment of a place where the individual is master; I pray that responsible citizens, men and women of good judgement and sound understanding, will step up to the task at hand and protect our freedoms from wicked and conspiring individuals. As J. Reuben Clark stated: "...the price of liberty is and always has been blood, human blood, and if our liberties are lost, we shall never regain them except at the price of blood. They must not be lost!"
So, as we spend today with family and friends, as we go to parks and lakes, as we spend time in the city or the mountains, as we watch fireworks and see the flag, let us remember those who went before us, who sacrificed all they had that we might enjoy such things.
Happy 4th.