“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
So reads the preamble to the United States constitution written in the summer of 1787. Most of us have heard these immortal words many times in our upbringing, but they bear remembrance especially during what has been a time of prolonged national unrest. Much has been said about the ideals that this great nation was founded upon, a discussion which is likely to continue. However, it is worth remembering these words, and many others of the time, when we consider the founding of our nation and the struggles that we face today.
President Abraham Lincoln, a man who was no stranger to conflict and unrest, referred to the founding principles of America in the opening sentence of his Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
In quoting President Lincoln, I would be remiss if I did not mention the struggle of his day, the bloodiest war in our young nation’s history, The American Civil War. This great and terrible war was fought, among other things, to preserve the Union and to fulfill the promise made in the Declaration of Independence where it states, “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.”
The conclusion of the Civil War saw the realization of that cause, if not perfectly. In fact, there is still much work to be done in order to preserve our Union and the promises made in America’s founding documents all those many years ago. I believe that the cause of human equality under the law and the preservation of unalienable rights are still worth fighting for today. The battle for these rights continues to be fought in the public square, written word, political theater, and when necessary, on the battlefield.
If the importance of these rights is not immediately obvious, one need only to look at our shared American history of building a nation dedicated to the idea of inherent unalienable rights not derived from the government, and our history of battles, both at home and abroad, with those who would trample those rights. To again quote from the Gettysburg Address, our lasting success is due in large part to those battles for,”… government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
It is in the constant fight to preserve these rights, that we find ourselves able to live our lives as we do today. We have the freedom to live, work, and worship as we are compelled to do because of our nation’s founding belief in unalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator. As many of you know, I have never been shy about my faith in Jesus Christ, which is why I am particularly thankful for the right to worship my Lord and Savior as provided for in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. This is not a right that we should take for granted. Many places around the world either greatly suppress or oppose out rightly, the individual’s right to practice their religion. It is for this right especially, along with many others, that I am incredibly thankful to have been born and raised in this great nation. With all of its flaws, struggles, messy history, triumphs, and defeats, there is still nowhere else that I would rather be.
Happy Independence Day!
Of course, I must include my song of the week! With the holiday weekend approaching, I have actually included two patriotic bonus songs for your listening enjoyment. Consider it my Independence Day present to you! Enjoy and have a great weekend!
“These are my People” “Only in America” “The Gettysburg Address”