Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July - #3048 - Independence Forever: Why America Celebrates the 4th of July - Heritage Foundation (2) Fourth of July: America, The Exceptional Nation - Baptist Press

The Fourth of July is a great opportunity to renew our dedication to the principles of liberty and equality enshrined in what Thomas Jefferson called "the declaratory charter of our rights."  As a practical matter, the Declaration of Independence publicly announced to the world the unanimous decision of the American colonies to declare themselves free and independent states, absolved from any allegiance to Great Britain. But its greater meaning-then as well as now-is as a statement of the conditions of legitimate political authority and the proper ends of government, and its proclamation of a new ground of political rule in the sovereignty of the people. "If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence," wrote the great historian Samuel Eliot Morrison, "it would have been worthwhile."  Although Congress had appointed a distinguished committee-including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston-the Declaration of Independence is chiefly the work of Thomas Jefferson. By his own account, Jefferson was neither aiming at originality nor taking from any particular writings but was expressing the "harmonizing sentiments of the day," as expressed in conversation, letters, essays, or "the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc." Jefferson intended the Declaration to be "an expression of the American mind," and wrote so as to "place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent." Read more.......

Fourth of July: America, The Exceptional Nation - Baptist Press - America has been blessed by God in unique ways -- we are not just another country, but neither are we God's special people. I do not believe that America is God's chosen nation. God established one chosen nation and people: the Jews. We are not the new Israel. We do not have "God on our side." We are not God's gift to the world.  America does not have a special claim on God. Millions of Americans do, however, believe God has a special claim on them -- and their country.   America has been blessed in manifold ways. When you look at our resources, our protection by two oceans, our standard of living, can you argue that America has not been uniquely and providentially blessed? The natural resources that lie within the confines of our borders are without parallel anywhere in the world: not just rich, arable land, but vast resources of iron, coal, and oil under the ground. We didn't put them there; we were just led to the place where they were.  Read more.......

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