I have to be honest~I haven't felt much like celebrating Independence Day for the last few years. As I look around this country of ours and see what has become of what our forefathers fought for, I become a bit dismayed. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are three of the first things mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Our nation has become a place where the culture has become one of death rather than life, morals and virtue are seen as a sign of weakness, and in general life has become all about us as individuals. None of that has anything to do with true freedom and everything to do with license (licentiousness).
Now I don't mean to concentrate on the negatives, nor do I believe these things are only going on in the United States, but as today is an American holiday celebrating freedom from tyranny I won't get into the global situation.
True freedom comes from being able to do what is morally right, following natural law, not necessarily man's law. It means living the virtues. Thomas Jefferson mentions the virtue of prudence in the Declaration of Independence so our founding fathers knew that the true freedom they were fighting for meant being able to live a moral and virtuous life.
The verse I quoted at the beginning of this post is from the second stanza of America the Beautiful. Confirm Thy Soul in Self Control is also the title of an essay by Dr. Paul Kengor. This essay captures the spirit and true meaning of what Independence Day should be.
As we gather today with friends and family, let us thank God for the freedom we still have and pray for the conversion of this country~ as the song says: America, may God shed His grace on Thee. Let us also thank Him for the true freedom that comes to us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
*Click the link under the painting for a larger version and a key to those portrayed in the painting.