We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident

May 10, 2024 by  
Filed under Family Focus

By Marty Norman 

When I think of Independence Day, I think of hot dogs, parades, fireworks, watermelon, and apple pie. Images and memories of days gone by bring a smile to my lips and joy to my heart. Memories of friends and family, bicycle parades, watermelon by the swimming pool, homemade ice-cream in the backyard, fireworks over the lake, lying on a blanket with my kids, awed by the magnificence of a firework display, are memories that I will hold for a lifetime.

But the 4th of July is more than that. To take a moment and reflect on the truths we are celebrating should bring us each to our knees for it is so much bigger, goes so much deeper, than we could ever imagine. Meditating on the significance of the day and the sacrifices made should, if not boggle the mind, at least, take our breath away.

For men on our own and on foreign soil have fought and died to preserve these freedoms.  At great cost, they sacrificed so that we might be free. But the truths that seem self-evident to them do not seem as clear to us two and a half centuries later.  It would serve us each well to take a few minutes to reflect on these truths. By studying their import and the reason behind their declaration, we can imprint these truths on our hearts and teach them to our children and grandchildren.

For on July 4, 1776 one of the greatest documents in human history was signed by John Hancock and made into the law of the land.  Fifty –six members of the Continental Congress, often at great cost, signed the document that declared our freedom from British rule.

The document, which is based on Judeo- Christian principals, gives thanks for and acknowledgment to our God as the ruler of the universe. As the giver of all gifts he has bestowed and endowed certain rights to all men, as the Declaration of Independence so states. In addition the document also draws from the social ideas of political justice held and written about by such philosophers as John Lock, Thomas Paine, and Cicero, Adam Smith, and Charles Montesquieu.

I can remember as a child memorizing the crucial words of the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the Declaration of Rights.  As students, tested time and again on their meaning, we spent many a class-room discussions on the impact they have on our world and families today.

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.

According to the The World Book Encyclopedia “the signers of the Declaration believed it was obvious that “all men” are created equal and have rights that cannot be taken away.  By “all men,” they meant people of every race and of both sexes.  The right to “Life’ included the right to defend oneself against physical attack and unjust government.  The right to “Liberty” included the right to criticize the government, to worship freely, and to form a government that protects liberty.  The “pursuit of Happiness meant that the right to own property and to have it
safeguarded.  It also meant the right to strive for the good of all people, not only for one’s personal happiness.”

As Christians it is our right and privilege to take “these truths” one step further.  For “these truths” have not only to do with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but they have to do with the freedom we have in our religion.  To worship God, freely, openly, without fear of arrest and prosecution is the greatest freedom on earth.

Wondering how and when we became complacent as a nation in our worship and testimony to God is one of the questions that confounds and haunts my heart. Therefore I have decided that this year I will write a letter to my grandchildren about the gift of these truths and why they are “self-evident” to me. By stressing the “inalienable rights” that my creator has endowed me and has given to all men, I will help them build new memories of independence, freedom, and the founding of our country.

As parents we can do no less. By passing on these “self-evident” truths we will be holding near and passing on. the greatest freedom on earth. Perhaps they will catch the vision and catch fire for God and freedom

Now these are fireworks worth celebrating!

About admin

  • Advertisement

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Prove You\'re Human: *