Now I am a supporter of people’s right to have and practice a religion, or not, as they see fit. However, I find it hard to accept the notion that I am supposed to thank some deity for the freedoms which we, as US citizens, enjoy. As I read our history, it wasn’t the act of any deity which established those freedoms, it was a group of what we call patriots pledging “… our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” to establish a new nation; then establishing, in writing, their attempt “… to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence (sic), promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, ….”, in order “… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
These statements, taken from several of the treasures of our nation, don’t, at least to me, seem to suggest that this was an action of any deity, but the actions of men (patriots) trying to establish a nation in which the freedoms of the many would prevail over the tyranny of a few. I think that’s what our Independence Day stands for and what I will be celebrating. In simplest form, no deity GAVE us our freedom; it was paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of patriots.
The freedoms that they struggled and died to establish include the statement that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ….” I take that to mean that our founders, followers of a wide variety of spiritual practices, didn’t, as a group, wish to allow ANY form of “national religion.” Rather, they wanted us to celebrate the right to worship, or not, as one saw fit. That’s freedom of religion!
Have a great Fourth of July!
May our nation “… live long, and prosper.”
I’ll be back in a week or ten days…