I first wrote this in 2003…for a speech contest at a 4th of July church picnic
In 1837, when John Quincy Adams was 69 years old he gave a speech on the 4th of July at Newbury, Massachusetts. The country was celebrating its 62nd birthday. He asked a few thought provoking questions:
“Why is friends and fellow citizens that you are here assembled?
Why is that you have honored me with an invitation to address you?
Why is it, that next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and venerated festival returns on this day, the 4th of July?”
The 2nd question was easy to answer. John Quincy Adams had been invited because he had been an eye-witness to what had happened, he was old enough to remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The 3rd question, according to Mr. Adams, was because Christmas and the 4th of July are connected. What?! On the 4th of July, 1776, when the Founding Fathers and the Continental Congress. adopted the Declaration of Independence they
“simply took the precepts of Christ, which came into this world through his birth….Christmas…and incorporated those principles into civil government.”
56 men signed the Declaration of Independence, men from all walks of life. There were business men, ministers, teachers, professors, sailors, farmers, who signed their names to a contract that began with the reasons for separating from Great Britain. They knew that by signing this document, not only were they committing treason against England and the king, they were committing heresy. The final paragraph stated,
“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.”
That’s why I love living in America. We hear and read about the devastating things that are happening in our country, but what about the good?
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…”
We the people, for the most part, are still watching out for each other, pledging our lives, fortunes and sacred honor to each other. We just don’t hear about it as often as the other news of riots and racism and terrorist attacks.
We don’t hear about the many donations for supplies that are sent to help those in need during a crises – floods, tornadoes, terrorist attacks. During 9-11, so many supplies were donated, that charitable organizations, had to say. stop sending… we have too much.
Where else, but in America, would people stop, hug a stranger standing next to them, shed a tear and remember all who gave their lives in defense of this country? Where else would Christians hold constant, vigilant prayer meetings for our soldiers that are still fighting overseas and serving our country? Where could an organization – such as Habitat for Humanity – build more than 125,000 homes for 625,000 people in 3,000 communities since it was founded in 1976? Why would so many businesses offer discounts and free help to men and women who serving this country, including their spouses as a way to say Thank You. Where else would the youth of a Christian organization take the initiative and collect a love offering for a family whose transmission had gone out in their van while they were traveling and raise enough money to buy them a brand new van? This is the America that I love.
Not the hate and violence that is being spewed forth every single day.
Acts of kindness are done every day in America… but that is not in the news.
It matters not if we are staunch Democrats, or tried and true Republicans, as long as there are faith walking, Bible believing, born again Christians, America will continue to have her heroes. Men and women to look up to and who pledge to keep the torch burning brightly in the Statue of Liberty, when all other relics are being torn down.
I leave you with a quote by Benjamin Rush, another of our Founding Fathers,
“I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe all power…will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.”
As long as we still have our freedoms and our rights life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – this country will be the land that I love.
Thanks for reading.
I am forever