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It is my considered opinion that far too few Americans have actually read and comprehend the basis for the colonists’ Declaration of Independence. I sincerely hope I am wrong.
As we have just celebrated another Independence Day, I am afraid many Americans have forgotten, or they are simply ignorant of, the true basis for said Declaration. It was not so much about tea and taxes as it was the tyranny of a King who continuously usurped the rights of the American people to make their own decisions about life and liberty. In support of that statement, I offer the following document:
The Declaration of Independence (partial)
July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great
Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.“ (emphasis added)
Sometimes we miss the heart of a matter, owing to various interpretations or a lack of knowledge of the subject. The basis for the Revolution was, as stated, the “establishment of an absolute Tyranny” by the King of England. In other words, the colonists were subjected to laws made by fiat. It was not “tea and taxes”but the imposition of the will of one man over, above, and without the consent of the governed.
As previously stated,“Governments … derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,”not by divine right or by dictatorial fiat. The entirety of the American form of government (which is a republic, not a democracy) is based upon a leadership which governs by permission of the governed.
Today in Washington, however, we are seeing the imposition of the will of one man over the people via executive fiat (ala the king of England) against which the colonists rebelled. Today these dictatorial edicts are not called “divine fiat” but “executive orders.”
The president of the United States is not a sovereign empowered to rule by fiat or executive order but is a public servant granted, by the will of the people, to serve for a designated period of time. This is why there are no lifetime appointments in government except in the Supreme Court (and in my opinion, justices should not be appointed for life, either).
In our form of government, it is the people who are sovereign, not the public servants and“whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.“
This is the basis for our republic–one man, one vote–expressing the will of the electorate, which is the cornerstone of our (threatened) liberties and the justification for and validation of our Declaration.
It is my fervent hope and earnest prayer that those who have not read (or re-read in a while) the Declaration of Independence will take a moment this 4th of July weekend to read, consider and apply the principles contained therein, because then, and only then, will God continue to bless America.
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