July 4, 2013 by Will Ray
237 years ago today, the Continental Congress published one of the greatest documents ever penned by the hands of man – The Declaration of Independence. A document stating the rights that all men have, proclaiming equality for all, and forever changing political history by founding this country.
You see, until this time, throughout all of history, power to govern came by force (dictatorships) or by “birthright” (monarchies). Those governments then granted rights and privileges to the people they governed.
Our founders were the first to declare that no, power to govern doesn’t originate from the top, it comes from the people. They declared that all people have rights – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that “to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the Governed…”
Government power comes from the people, who grant power to the government to protect these rights. Not the other way around. So they declared that these are “Free and Independent States.”
If you’re still reading through my political history lesson, I’d like to wish you a Happy Independence Day. I risk sounding antiquated, but I’m cool with that. I fear we’re losing the “Independence” part of our Holiday, similar to how Santa’s taking the place of the nativity, and the Easter Bunny is replacing the crucifixion. Fireworks and parades and barbecues (which I love) are replacing a remembrance of our freedom and independence.
Celebrate today well, and remember your Independence.