Independence Day is a cherished occasion for families and friends to come together, enjoy barbecues, and partake in community firework displays while celebrating our country and appreciating its rich Judeo-Christian heritage. However, in 2023, it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the deep divisions within our nation.
As we commemorate America’s 247th birthday, let us remember that the United States stands apart from other nations. Our country is not bound by a shared history or ancestry, but by a profound dedication to founding principles. These principles have historically united us, transcending political affiliations, racial backgrounds, and religious beliefs.
Yet, something fundamental has shifted. While most Americans would readily agree with the resolute statements in the Declaration of Independence, the interpretation of those words now drives us apart.
The birth of our nation required immense sacrifices, and it will demand equal resolve to ensure its preservation. As we reflect on our country’s birthday, let us reacquaint ourselves with the two most renowned lines from our founding document:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people 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.”
Within those two lines lie profound contemplations about our identity, the purpose of governments, and the ultimate source of authority.
When our founding fathers penned these words, they intended for them to be interpreted in a particular context. To grasp their true meaning, one needs only to examine the historical backdrop and observe their practical application at the time. In essence, these words convey something specific and should not be subject to personal interpretation.
The significance of words holds great weight in the Bible. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” When God sought to reveal Himself to us, He chose words to convey truths about reality. He did not intend for us to be confused about His character or His expectations.
Nevertheless, Satan, the great deceiver, has always sought to sow doubt regarding the meaning of God’s words. Remember his cunning words to Eve? “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
This is not a time for silence. We must rise with courage, conviction, and civility in the face of those with whom we disagree. For decades, progressive courts have embraced the concept of a “living constitution.” This legal theory allows justices to alter the interpretation of constitutional text, asserting that words evolve and adapt over time to accommodate new circumstances. Conveniently, this renders formal amendments to the Constitution almost unnecessary.
A growing segment of our political and intellectual elite is enamored with the idea of reinterpreting the meaning of words. Terms like “equality,” “justice,” “sex,” “racism,” “woman,” and even “love” now carry different meanings depending on the individual using them. Some individuals are aware of this shift, while others remain unaware that the words they hear do not convey the meanings they assume.
The LGBTQ+ movement has skillfully employed these linguistic acrobatics. “Equality” no longer signifies equal value and worth for all humans; it now signifies the equal treatment of all sexual behaviors. “Marriage” no longer represents the union of one man and one woman, but a legal partnership between “loving individuals” irrespective of gender. Likewise, the word “sex” no longer refers to male and female based on biology, but encompasses an array of genders based on self-identification.
Regrettably, activist judges, exploiting the theory of a living constitution, have utilized these reinterpretations to undermine the very essence of our founding documents.
America has long been known as a stable nation precisely because it has upheld the rule of law. Yet, how can we maintain that stability if our fundamental principles lack concrete meaning? The answer is simple: we cannot.
So, what is to be done? We must all confront challenging questions. What do we truly believe in? What are we willing to defend, regardless of the cost? What kind of nation do we desire to leave as an inheritance for our children? The collective actions we undertake will determine our course. Our Constitutional Republic will not save itself.
Now is not the time for complacency. Let us stand up with courage, conviction, and civility, even in the face of disagreement. Disregard those who claim there is no hope. Instead, let us embrace our national motto, putting our ultimate trust in God and aligning our actions accordingly.
This Fourth of July, let us draw inspiration from the men who affixed their signatures to our Declaration of Independence. As they concluded that momentous document, they earnestly appealed: “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.”
Just as it took immense sacrifices to give birth to this nation, it will demand an equal measure of sacrifice to ensure its survival.