Appreciating What We Have

      I have been registered at Red State for nearly a year.  I have enjoyed reading the postings here, thank you Mr. Lane, Mr. Erickson and staff, as well as all the other regulars, for all of your hard work.  I have learned a great deal.

     A couple of months ago I made a suggestion about forming local “book” clubs to read and discuss our founding documents, interesting articles and publications.  So we could have ready knowledge and strengthen local conservative ties.  I contacted the local Republican Party, but I have not heard back from them so I am going to use you as my sounding board.  I know I will sound very idealistic because I love this country and I can’t imagine what the world would be like without the U.S.A.  Having lived in Europe and Turkey, I can honestly say this is the best country to live in and to be a citizen!

     I decided that I would read the founding documents in pseudo-chronological order starting with the Declaration of Independence. Then I will continue with the Northwest Ordinance, Virginia Bill of Rights, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and Bill of Rights including the Amendments.  I welcome any other suggested readings as well.  I will use the SQ3R (study, question, read recite review) method.  I learned this method many years ago and it works for me.

     Esthetically, the document itself is beautiful.  The handwriting or calligraphy is amazing.  I notice handwriting because personally I write like a left-handed M.D. and the longer I use a keyboard the worse it gets.  The wording of the document is eloquent.  I hadn’t read the whole document since my freshman year of high school.  It was just an assignment then, but now it isn’t.  I had goose bumps when I reread it.  We have taken so much for granted.

     Our current president claims we are not a Christian nation.  I disagree for many reasons, but two of them are phrases in this document.  “The separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,” tells me that every man who signed their name to this document believed in God as well as rights “endowed by their Creator.”  Many of our ancestors came here for the freedom to live and worship in peace.

     They stated government was instituted among men and that they derived their “just powers from the consent of the governed.”  When government becomes destructive it is the right and duty of the governed to throw off said government.  The Signers of this document stated all of the reasons for this declaration very succinctly and let it be known that they weren’t declaring independence lightly.  They knew how Britain would react.  They knew by signing this document they could lose their lives, families and everything they owned, but they appealed to the “Supreme Judge of the World” and “Divine Providence” and laid it all on the line. 

     Thankfully for the Founding Fathers foresight we don’t have to resort to the same lengths because we have so many rights and freedoms in the United States, but we have become complacent and take them for granted.  We have abdicated so many of our personal responsibilities to the government.  We have allowed Social Security and Medicare take care of our disabled, elderly, orphaned, and widowed.  We have welfare and other programs to help those less fortunate.  We have let the school systems teach our children.  We have become focused on our own lives and let our local, state and federal government get used to operating on their own unless it is an election year.  Thankfully we  do have the election process.  We need to support the United States with our prayers, thoughts, voice (spoken and written) and vote.

     I am always amazed at the statistics regarding voters’ registration and participation.  The Declaration of Independence started an amazing time in history and the cost has been high.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not completely wide eyed about the history of the United States.  We have had our good, bad and ugly moments during this time, but some of the ugliest have lead to our finest.  The U.S.A. is not a “melting pot” or a “salad.”  It is a tapestry with the warp being our Declaration of Independence and self evident truths “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.”

     Please read it if you have not read the Declaration of Independence recently.   It truly is a beautiful document.  I believe that if we were more familiar with it and our history we would not have many of the problems we have today.  We reading about the birth of Christ every Christmas so why don’t we read about the birth of the United States every July 4th?  I am going to start this tradition in my family even if they think it is just an eccentric bent of their crazy, hermit Aunt.