History records this day as the day 56 men, representing 13 independent colonies, declared their independence from England's "Ruler's Law" they were then living under.
July 4, 1776, was truly a historic day in the history of the world. It was the day God's "Tree of Liberty" was replanted on the North American continent, albeit it would require many years for this newly planted tree to take root, develop and bring forth its fruits of individual freedom and liberty.
This "tree" restored to the world, many now believe, those perfect laws of liberty initially given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. And this restored tree's roots were watered and nourished with the blood of those patriots who died during the Revolutionary War.
But 234 years have brought about many changes, with some saying negative changes to this aging tree. While the tree is still standing, it's strength has been weakened by the adversaries of liberty who have labored hard to destroy it by grafting branches of socialism to it hoping to replace the original fruit of liberty, those principles (fruits) of individual liberty planted by America's founding fathers.
Instead of 13 independent colonies, America is today a united nation of 50 federated states. Instead of three million Anglo-Saxon white Christian immigrants, whose ancestors fled their native lands in Europe, to worship God according to their own conscience, there are now over 300 million people of all races and religious beliefs, including atheists who don't believe in God, and who would return America to a form of government that would re-embrace the "Ruler's Law" of Europe the founders had fled.
Thomas Jefferson is still my hero. It was Jefferson who drafted that document that those 56 founders rushed to sign in 1776. It was, and continues to be, a document that advocates individual liberty unlike any document written since Moses walked off Mt. Sinai with the "Tablets of Stone."
In 1912, B. H. Roberts, a renowned historian, declared the Declaration of Independence to be "the preface to the Constitution, the Constitution merely organized agencies for carrying out the principles of liberty announced in the document known as the Declaration of Independence." He also said this document contains the political "doctrine of a direct moral responsibility to God of a free people." Wow! His statements caused me to ponder again the foundational role of Jefferson's Declaration.
Where did Jefferson get his inspiration to write such powerful principles of liberty closeted in a small room in Philadelphia for 17 days in June 1776? I believe he was inspired by his Bible, a book he loved, especially the words of Christ the author of all liberty. I believe he was also inspired by James reference to "the perfect laws of liberty" and by Isaiah's words that read: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation." (Isaiah 28:16).
I am as certain as any man can be certain that Thomas Jefferson was not alone in that room in June of 1776. The spirit of God rested upon Jefferson as he read his Bible, and his mind recalled the words of not only Christ, but of James and Isaiah as well. How else can one explain Jefferson establishing as the cornerstone of America's new liberty two ageless laws - "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," laws that entitle a people to establish a government of their own choosing to become "a separate and equal nation" among all the nations of the earth? How else can one explain Jefferson's references to God by his use of "Creator, Supreme Judge of the world, and divine Providence" all in this very short document?
Jefferson's Declaration of Independence has truly become that "stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation" for freedom loving people worldwide, regardless of race or nationality.
Unfortunately, this document that has freed many of the worlds politically enslaved is now being used to re-enslave the world, beginning here in America. The enemies of freedom, progressives and liberals, have used Jefferson's words "that all men are created equal" as the central theme of their efforts to graft onto America's "Tree of Liberty" doctrines of socialism. They distort the word "equal" by using it to promise the unpromisable to gain wealth and power over a gullible electorate. They want to destroy mankind's liberty.
America is at the crossroads of liberty and slavery. Those who would re-enslave America for their own gain and power (current administration) are causing those who would restore the founders founding principles of liberty (modern day patriots) to rise up and take note of what they could be loosing by showing a willingness to nurture the roots of America's starving "Tree of Liberty" back to its original vigor.
Did God inspire Jefferson's Declaration of Independence? It's a question worth pondering during this 234th anniversary of America's Independence Day!
Donald Conkey, a retired agricultural economist, lives in Woodstock.