One of the many things about American History that has always fascinated me is Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both passing away on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826. James Monroe, who was the last of the founders to be President, passed away exactly five years later on July 4, 1831. People are free to draw their own opinions but it cannot be denied it is rather peculiar.
With the approaching 240th Anniversary of our Nation’s Declaration of Independence, it may be more important now than ever to utilize it’s true purpose. To reaccess our own principles, and if need be, to re-align ourselves with those outlined in that great charter.
The Declaration began the Revolutionary War, and our Constitution is what has held that Union together for the past 225 years through thick and thin. They belong together. To separate those two great documents from each other only serves to remove Natural Law from our consciousness. Without an understanding of Natural Law, from which our Natural Rights are derived, the way is paved for Sophistry to take hold with Despotism quickly ensuing. Another name for it is Legalism, where the letter of the law is authoritative over the law’s spirit. Scripture teaches otherwise: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor 3). Which is why it is paramount we use Original Intent to interpret our Founding Documents.
Out of mercy, here is but a short passage from a contrary opinion given by Woodrow Wilson during one of his parasitic presidential campaign speechs in 1912:
Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop.
All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when “development,” “evolution,” is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.
Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. Their bosoms swell against George III, but they have no consciousness of the war for freedom that is going on today.
The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day.
Woodrow Wilson admits that our country was founded on, and our Constitution is based upon, a Newtonian worldview. A scientific view based in reductionism, determinism, materialism, and a reflection-correspondence view of knowledge. Yet he repeatedly rejects viewing the Constitution through that lens in favor of what he calls Darwinian Theory, i.e. Newtonian Christian Monotheism Vs. Darwinian Evolutionist Relativism.
Fourteen years later, a different U.S. President by the name of Calvin Coolidge addressed Wilson’s subversive line of thinking during the Declaration’s 150th Anniversary.
We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. … It is to pay our tribute of reverence and respect to those who participated in such a mighty event that we annually observe the fourth day of July.
It is not so much, then, for the purpose of undertaking to proclaim new theories and principles that this annual celebration is maintained, but rather to reaffirm and reestablish those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic ofevents have demonstrated to be sound. Amid all the clash of conflicting interests, amid all the welter of partisan politics, every American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken. Whatever perils appear, whatever dangers threaten, the Nation remains secure in the knowledge that the ultimate applicationof the law of the land will provide an adequate defense and protection.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great dealof progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
Long before Coolidge, another man at a previous Fourth of July celebration also offered up words of great wisdom. Which if heeded would have prevented subversive amendments like the 16th and 17th from ever being ratified. May his words this time help prevent the new bevy of subversive amendments being proposed today by those fallaciously advocating a Article V Constitutional Convention under the guise of a limited Convention of the States.
The politician that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought as a farmer sets about mending his plow, is no master of his trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in one will work an alteration in all; and this cobbler, however pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a miserable piece of patchwork.
Nor are great and striking alterations alone to be shunned. A succession of small changes, a perpetual tampering with minute parts, steal away the breath though they leave the body; for it is true that a government may lose all its real character, its genius and its temper, without losing its appearance. You may have a despotism under the name ofa republic. You may look on a government and see it possess all the external essential modes of freedom, and yet see nothing of the essence, the vitality, of freedom in it: just as you may behold Washington or Franklin in wax-work; the form is perfect, but the spirit, the life, is not there.
If an angel should be winged from Heaven, on an errand of mercy to our country, the first accents that would glow on his lips would be, Beware! be cautious! you have everything to lose; you have nothing to gain. We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people. Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in six thousand years cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once gone, might leave a void, to be filled, for ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism. ~Daniel Webster, Fourth of July Oration (1802)
So let us remember on this Fourth Day of July why some men were willing to sacrifice their life, liberty, and fortunes to secure a nation such as ours, to remember the blessings we ourselves have reaped because of their willingness to sacrifice, and to give God reason once again to bless America for posterity’s sake.
May God bless those who are willing to promote and stand in defense of the noble principles found within our Declaration and Constitution. And in closing, I will impart this final thought:
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. ~Benjamin Franklin, at the signing ofthe Declaration of Independence