Happy Independence Day
The following is our traditional message for the 4th of July:
Flags are flying, parades are moving, drinks are flowing, and politicians are speaking today in America.
Over 240 years ago a document was confirmed by representatives of 13 colonies proclaiming their freedom, a freedom that was considered to be derived from God:
“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.”
Much has been made of the variety of beliefs held by the founders of this country but their words and convictions remain not only on paper but also in the hearts of the people.
Declaration of Independence: The Emphasis Upon God
When it comes to the Declaration of Independence, the words- “by their Creator” were a major part of the message, the subject, and the emphasis.
Many secularists and atheists today want to de-emphasize the role of faith in the founding of this country to the point that many are attempting to actually rewrite history itself. For them, God could have easily been left out of the document with little or no effect.
But in the context of 1776, those words were the whole linchpin of the document and appealed to God as the ultimate authority and source for the rights of the Americans to rebel against the King of England.
In the context of the 18th century the Europeans believed that their Kings reigned and ruled ‘by Divine right’ under the authority of God and were His direct representatives. In fact, the King of England was also the head of the church and was supposed to defend the Christian faith against heresy and all enemies. In that cultural context, to rebel against the King was tantamount to rebelling against God the Creator himself.
In the Declaration the founders made it clear that they were not rebelling against God but that the Creator was actually the ultimate authority they were appealing to saying that their ‘rights’ were derived directly from the Creator and not given to them by the King of England or some parchment or Parliament.
It was a radical document at the time and changed the whole course of human history and ‘the Creator’ was part and parcel of the Declaration of Independence and the ultimate authority appealed to in the whole process.