It’s hard to believe 2017 is rapidly moving towards the half-way mark, and the July 4th celebration is already just around the corner! Barbeque and fireworks, that’s what I’m talking about!
Have you ever wondered what makes July 4th so special? You might say, well it’s Independence Day, the day we celebrate our freedom here in the United States! Yes, but, where does that freedom come from really, and what exactly is it that sets the United States apart from any other country that has ever existed? Why is America different?
If I were to ask you what kind of government we have in the United States, what would you say? If you said democratic, you would be among the majority. The truth is, however, that our Founders decreed that the United States of America shall be a republic.
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the REPUBLIC
For which it (the flag) stands…
Why is this a distinction and what makes it important to maintain?
Democracy is government by the masses, requiring full participation of of the people in its legislative or decision-making processes, and so becomes increasingly unwieldy the larger the population grows. Many also do not realize that democracy in its base form is another derivative of socialism, which is becoming increasingly popular because the ideology looks so promising on the surface. But our Founders understood the difference was critical. Socialism and its many derivatives has at its core belief that the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the one, which negates the rights of the individual.
A republic, on the other hand, governs through elected representatives and can grow with the population. It is a government by the people and for the people that maintains the rights of the individual, as it recognizes that the needs of the many can only be addressed if the unalienable rights of the individual are recognized and protected.
The second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence 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.”
Anyone who is a student of American history long enough may come to the realization that our Founders believed that the unalienable rights of the individual are endowed by our Creator, the Holy One, defined by scripture as Jesus the Messiah. What makes a right “unalienable” or inherent is a right that cannot be established nor taken away by human law.
What is likewise important is for us to understand what is an unalienable, God-given right and what a vested right. Healthcare is not, for example, an unalienable right. Education is not an unalienable right. Cell phones are not unalienable rights. Any right that can be granted or taken away by government is a vested right, not an unalienable (or God-given) one.
What is more, many of us also get equal opportunity mixed up with equality itself. Do we think equal rights means that all men were created the same? Funny thing, we sure don’t look alike! Not only do I not look like you, my tastes are not the same as yours, and my skill set and knowledge level is not the same as yours. Would you agree we each develop differently? It is evident that we are not all equal.
I believe the Founders meant when they said we were created equal is that all were born with equal rights, and we all have the right to be treated equally in the sight of God, in the sight of the law, and in the protection of our rights. This means the equality of the opportunity, not the equality of outcome.
In the way the US Constitution is framed, I have just as much right to pursue an education or healthcare as you do. I have the opportunity to own land, business and make a profit, to be a servant of Christ and enrich the lives of others! In other words, I can equally pursue anything you can, and vise-verse.
Equality, on the other hand, says if I have healthcare, you should too, or because you have an education, I should too, or because your salary is X, mine should also be. I would fear any government that was big enough to grant all of that, because anything the government has the ability to grant, it also has the ability to take away.
Hopefully this helps to understand the subtle differences that can be so deceptive and lead down vastly different paths. True rights can never be taken away by a government that never granted them in the first place. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not to provide equal things. The Founders set what they considered the most important unalienable rights aside in what is now known as “The Bill of Rights”. Those are the ones they considered most crucial.
All of this combined is what I believe sets America apart, and what makes her unique.
One question still unasked: where does freedom come from?
Freedom does not come from WITHOUT. It is not granted by any government. Freedom is not something that can ever be taken away from me as an individual. It cannot be taken away by any prison. Freedom comes from the same place my rights come from, and that is from God Himself. Freedom comes from WITHIN. As long as I understand this, no government has the power to spiritually cage me. Freedom defined by scripture is Christ in me, the hope of glory.
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:31-36 NLT
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:1-4
To learn more about the constitution of the United States and the 28 basic principles it was founded upon, read “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World”, by W. Cleon Skousen.
To learn more about how to have a personal relationship with Christ, ask me! I am happy to introduce you or help answer any question you may have.