The Declaration of Independence....Our Legacy
By Susan Steffen-Kraft
You and I have a free and independent America today because of the Declaration of Independence. History books today do not tell students a lot of what happened leading up to and during the revolutionary war. We fought the British and we were actually British subjects. Because a state of siege and repression of rights and liberties had been in existence for many years and a state of war had been around for two years prior to the signing of the Declaration we actually fought our own, I repeat, our own government for independence.
So many take their liberties for granted which is a grave error. When one takes liberty for granted, one tends to lose it and sadly today, we have lost many of our liberties. Congress went on to frame a continental "Association," in order to insure that words would be backed by actual deeds. The delegates bound themselves and as much as possible in so far as they could so those whom they represented to not import or use any British "goods, wares, or merchandise whatsoever."
This move was revolutionary because without any constitutional authority the Congress had to all intents and purposes passed a law and provided the means for its enforcement by turning the enforcement over to popularly elected local committees. They in turn were to make it their business to publish violations of the agreement and seize goods imported in defiance of its terms. In addition they were to maintain a united front against the British. Unity is always important as evidenced by the words of Benjamin Franklin who is pictured below.
We must indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., studied this question:“We hold these truths to be self-evident” – They are obvious, unmistakable, and undeniable. No one can take them away from you.
“That all men are created equal” – No matter race, creed or color, every person is CREATED equal. This does not guarantee equal pay, equal housing or even equal wealth. It acknowledges we are all creations, not accidents of nature. Considering one inferior because of race, religion, nationality, or social status is an evolutionistic “survival of the fittest” mentality, not one for God’s children. This pronouncement alone was central to the abolitionists’ argument that our Founding Fathers declared Africans to be white man’s equal. Likewise, equal creation does not assure humans will be void of conflict or war as evil lives and breaths here on earth.
“That they are endowed by their Creator” – Yes, our Founding Fathers DID believe in God, and that he was our Creator. Progressive liberals are tirelessly working to re-write history, removing references to God from our Founding Fathers’ mouths and pens. They claim we don’t actually know what “Creator” the Founding Fathers were referring to."
Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., studied this question and discovered this:
“In fact, all the signers of the Declaration and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, as well as the delegates to the various sessions of the Continental Congress—at least so far as known—were men who believed in God and the special creation of the world and mankind. Nearly all were members of Christian churches and believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.”
“and the pursuit of Happiness” – The original phrase considered here was “Property”. This was a concept Jefferson borrowed from John Locke. Since slave owners considered slaves property, the Founders replaced the term so slavery could not be misinterpreted as a constitutional right. “Pursuit of Happiness” grants you the right to actively strive for personal fulfillment. Is achievement guaranteed? Absolutely not, but you have the privilege to forge ahead with any past-time, faith, career, or invention you desire. Take heed to not get deceived into believing you are assured success."
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” – An unprecedented design where the government’s power rests in the hands of the governed. With this power comes extreme responsibility. Americans are charged to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions. We must watch them diligently, speaking out at any attempt to restrict the God given rights just described. This is why Constitutionals are so feared by both the Left and the Right in Washington. They are educating Americans about their rights, defending the Constitution, and exposing Washington as the pit of corruption it is".
The signers of the Declaration of Independence were intelligent, religious and a ethically-minded group. Four of the signers of the Declaration were current or former full-time preachers, and many were the sons of clergymen. Some of the other professions held by the signers include "lawyers, merchants, doctors and educators". These individuals, too, were for the most part active churchgoers and many contributed significantly to their churches both with contributions as well as their service as lay leaders. The signers were members of religious denominations at a rate that was significantly higher than average for the American Colonies during the late 1700s.To believe that they meant anyone other than God as the Creator would be crazy. The Pilgrims came here for Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion; there is a big difference.
They spoke about Christ and God both in government and their lives. This did not just get spoken about in church. In fact that is why Moses is etched into the Supreme Court building holding the 10 Commandments. But some will continue to reject God as part of their lives and as the Creator. But there is no doubt who and what the Founders believed in.
James Madison who was our fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
July of 1775 was the year that the Second Continental Congress sent the King a petition for redress and reconciliation that John Dickinson a farmer from Pennsylvania drafted in very respectful language but despite the respectful language the king did not formally answer the petition. Instead by proclamation of August 23, 1775, he stood by his thoughts that the colonists were engaged in an "open and avowed rebellion." Note that he believed they were in "open and avowed rebellion!"
On Jan. 10 of 1776, Thomas Paine published a booklet with the title Common Sense. Paine had a vision of the type of government he believed we should have here in this country in which people would have supreme power through their elected representatives. Sadly his dream seems to be null and void anymore. He was also the first to openly suggest independence from Britain and his book Common Sense was read by many including George Washington. His work was to have a huge influence on Thomas Jefferson when he was drafting the Declaration of Independence.
Hancock explained that the Congress had been struggling with the issue of American independence for some time. But even after making this huge decision many of the members were worried about its consequences, and of course, I don't blame them being as they had a good idea how King George would react. Hancock came to the conclusion that Americans would have to rely on the "Being who controls both Causes and Events to bring about his own determination," Of course George Washington shared this conclusion.
This army was untrained and going into battle with Great Britain to defend New York City and beyond to a new nation. Now they would know that they were not fighting just for the defense of their colonies or even their leader, but for the birth of this new nation and their independence. That would be quite inspiring to hear. So George Washington welcomed this news, and as his soldiers stood ready they heard the words written by their commander from their brigadiers and colonels.
Washington wrote that Congress had "dissolved the connection" between "this country" and Great Britain. He declared the "United Colonies of North America" to be "free and independent states."
Great news indeed for the people living then and for us today. No longer were we going to be under Great Britain's thumb and we should be grateful for to those leaders and the men who fought for our freedoms and independence.