America's birth certificate

Our birthright is the greatest in history; are we good stewards of it?

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Have you ever looked at a grand, tall, sturdy structure and ever thought to yourself, “It doesn’t really matter how strong that thing’s foundation is”?

Of course you haven’t. That would stretch the boundaries of foolhardy. All structures rest on a foundation. No fabrication long endures without a stout underpinning.

So why would anyone think otherwise of the grandest, tallest, sturdiest nation in history?

Yet, it’s clear that many Americans today don’t much care about America’s foundation – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They may think the Constitution is outdated and irrelevant, that it needs to be elasticized to fit the exigencies of the moment.

As for the Declaration of Independence, its meaning and wisdom and its own relevance may be lost on many.

The Founders, it’s obvious enough, aren’t in fashion. They’re considered by many to be little more than dead white men – radical right-wingers at that.

But those “extremists” happened to be some of the most learned and daring figures in history. And whatever you think of them, they poured a foundation unequaled in human endeavors – one that you are enjoying today. Their thinking, their writing, their bold actions form the bedrock upon which this greatest of all nations was constructed.

How could that foundation not be key to what comes after? The prosperity? The liberty? The comforts? The achievements?

Harry Truman once warned that, “We find it hard to believe that liberty could ever be lost in this country. But it can be lost, and it will be, if the time ever comes when these documents are regarded not as the supreme expression of our profound belief, but merely as curiosities in glass cases.”

America is unique in the world in that it was founded not as an accident of ethnicity or geography, but as a coherent set of principles based in the Judeo-Christian ethic, and with some of the most irrefutable logic about the nature of man and his constructs.

The Declaration of Independence – America’s birth certificate – contains some of the most profound, important and moving sentiments in the long affairs of mankind.

Even in its audacious announced split with England – which the signers knew was a declaration of war, and perhaps their own death warrants – the Declaration’s phraseology was simply soaring:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

And while “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions,” they concluded by promising ominously, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Never has a band of brothers made a more profound, unambiguous, historic pact with each other or with the whims of fate.

While relishing the fruits of their courage and foresight today, we should ask ourselves: Is the foundation they laid any less pertinent to liberty and prosperity? And have we been adequate stewards of what has been bequeathed to us?

Happy birthday, America. For our progeny’s sake, and with a growing concern for it, we raise a toast to your health and longevity. And like our forebears, may we pledge to you “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

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Riverman1
90855
Points
Riverman1 07/04/13 - 06:19 am
4
0
If We Started Over Today

If there were a large island today that many Americans, fed up with taxation and government intrusion in their lives, were escaping to, I believe the government they would adopt would again be one concerned about the domination of its citizens by a bureaucratic regime.

A group of Deists, respecting all religions, while favoring none, and insuring people working for the government wouldn’t be taking the fruits of their labor for line dancing parties in Las Vegas.

Is there any hope we can create that island in America again based on self-reliance and the courage of the writers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution?

Bodhisattva
6850
Points
Bodhisattva 07/04/13 - 07:19 am
2
6
Around here you'd be hard

Around here you'd be hard pressed to find "A group of Deists, respecting all religions, while favoring none".

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 07/04/13 - 07:36 am
8
1
"...you'd be hard pressed to find "A group of Deists

... respecting all religions, while favoring none..."

There are still quite a number, but more than matched by very vocal militant and intolerant atheists and statists.

deestafford
30537
Points
deestafford 07/04/13 - 07:44 am
4
1
American Exceptionalism

When asked about American Exceptionalism, our president, who is ignorant in American history and Founding, responded that every country thought it was "exceptional" and America is no different. With that one statement he showed he had no concept of the foundation of this country as laid out in the editorial.

As I'm sure there are some who read the Chronicle and even participate by making comments don't know what is meant by "American Exceptionalism" let me explain:

Before the Founding of America it was thought that the kings and rulers were given their authority by God and then the king ruled over the people. So, the process was God---King---People. The Founders said that America was founded on the concept that God gives rights and authority to the people who in turn give limited authority to the elected leaders. As a result, for the first time in history the process was God---People---leaders. This was the exception to all other countries and as a result, what we now know as "American Exceptionalism" came into being.

It has nothing to do with us feeling "special" in the same way that every country feels "special" as indicated by obama. It has to do with us being exceptional in the way our Founders established America.

deestafford
30537
Points
deestafford 07/04/13 - 07:55 am
3
1
There are those who seem to want to throw off our

Constitution and the Declaration of Independence because they were written by "a bunch of rich, white, slave owning men". To those who think that way I would ask them, "Who else was alive and well educated enough to do what these men did?" What they did had never been done before in history. It had never been done on any continent.

People make that comment because they want to disparage the country because they are of the "hate America crowd". One of the differences between a conservative and a liberal is: Ask a conservative about America and he will tell you what's good about America. Ask a liberal about America and he will tell you what's wrong with America.

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 08:12 am
2
6
conservatives will tell you what???

sorry deestafford, I read the ACES editorials and postings in this forum regularly, and they are filled on almost a daily basis by dire handwringing
over the decline of America under President Obama. In the view of most "real" conservatives, the country is in a downward spiral into socialism, atheism, welfarism, debt, immorality, and "statism," with a government attempting to crush our liberties and the liberal media abetting it. This is what is "good about America"? What a joke! Go ahead, respond that my list of liberal evils is all true--that will simply prove your "good" / "wrong" distinction is ridiculous.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/04/13 - 08:28 am
4
1
"In the view of most "real"
Unpublished

"In the view of most "real" conservatives, the country is in a downward spiral into socialism, atheism, welfarism, debt, immorality, and "statism," with a government attempting to crush our liberties and the liberal media abetting it.
I agree

deestafford
30537
Points
deestafford 07/04/13 - 08:36 am
6
1
EEL

You are right in that there are daily predictions about the direction our socialist leaning fascist president is trying to take this country. That is not a criticism of the country but of the way the leadership on the left is trying to destroy the foundation of the country and take it away from what it was intended to be.

I can fully understand how you would take comments about obama as being against American because his followers look at them to be one and the same. They are not. He wants to, in his own words, "fundamentally change America" which means he wants to take it away from its founding principles. He, or his handlers, are clever enough to throw in a few phrases from the founding documents to make the uninformed and ill informed think he was basing his destructive actions on the principles enumerated in them.

No, we Conservatives are not telling you what is wrong with America. We are telling you want is wrong with the ones who are trying to destroy America by pointing out where the destroyers want to take America.

faithson
5456
Points
faithson 07/04/13 - 08:52 am
2
4
calling a spade a spade IS the American way

Calling the prince out because he is 'wearing no clothes' is our American heritage. Why some would think that 'their' spade has more validity than another reeks of facism, not what our founders had in mind. some will build there 'house' upon the bridge that leads us from here to there, only to become stuck. St Theresa of Avila in her book Interior Castles desribes the situation as when one finds a plot of earth and sits tight, to cultivate that, and only that, not seeing the path forward into our interior selves. -od bless America and ALL who have come and gone in service to her greatness, from all sides of the divide.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/04/13 - 08:55 am
0
0
As Phil
Unpublished

Robertson of Duck Dynasty says "America needs a strong dose of manhood". Women are a calming force but not where the Middle-East, taliban and al-qaeda are concerned. America has become a nation of wimp worshippers.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/04/13 - 08:57 am
0
0
Do you hear me
Unpublished

democrats, leftys and obamaytes?

dahreese
4869
Points
dahreese 07/04/13 - 09:25 am
2
6
"effete elitist liberal
Unpublished

"effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 09:12 am

"sorry deestafford, I read the ACES editorials and postings in this forum regularly, and they are filled on almost a daily basis by dire handwringing
over the decline of America under President Obama."

You're not the only one who reads it that way.

Darby
28444
Points
Darby 07/04/13 - 09:37 am
5
1
"They may think the Constitution is outdated

and irrelevant, that it needs to be elasticized to fit the exigencies of the moment."

Not true. The word exigency carries the connotation of a dire emergency...

Those in control now, and those in Democrat administrations in recent years seek to change and manipulate the Constitution for political expediency alone.

"You can't allow a good crisis to go to waste."

And folks like Al Gore, the Clintons and Obama have made no secret of their intentions and ambitions.

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 09:40 am
2
6
deestafford

You're simply playing with words. As a staunch liberal, here is my conviction about what is "good" about America: We are slowly but surely and irreversibly moving towards a nation in which true freedom, equality, and voice are being enjoyed by more and more Americans who for too long have been second-class citizens. This includes women, African-Americans, Hispanics, lesbians and gays, and other "minorities." The more fully those individuals gain the promises made in the Declaration of Independence, the better our great country will be. That's what a liberal thinks, writes, and says is "good" about America!

Darby
28444
Points
Darby 07/04/13 - 09:56 am
3
1
"In the view of most "real" conservatives,

the country is in a downward spiral into socialism, atheism, welfarism, debt, immorality, and "statism," with a government attempting to crush our liberties and the liberal media abetting it."

And I believe this critic would have held virtually the same view in 1776. After all, it's estimated that more than sixty percent of the colonists at that time favored keeping the existing relationship with King George.

Why rock the boat? Thankfully, our founding fathers pushed ahead with what they knew must be done to secure freedom and liberty.

dahreese
4869
Points
dahreese 07/04/13 - 09:58 am
3
7
If, over the decades, "real
Unpublished

If, over the decades, "real conservatives" had their way in this country, we would still have slavery, it would be against the law to teach them to read, they could not vote, we would still have child labor, women would still be in the home and could not vote (and Christianity would be the "official" religion of the nation).

There is not a single "cause" above, that was advanced by conservative leaders.

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 10:00 am
2
6
Why rock the boat?

Darby, you might want to reread your American history book. The British government was indeed crushing the rights of the American colonists, but I don't recall too many concerns about socialism, atheism, welfarism, and so on. And of course those 60% opposing revolution, the Royalists, were the conservatives of their day....

seenitB4
93942
Points
seenitB4 07/04/13 - 10:07 am
4
0
Could we tweak our founders rules?

Possibly & that will happen one day....we will have to admit that what applied in the 1700s doesn't today...BUT & a real big BUT....they laid a firm foundation....even risked life & fortune to so......do we have that kind of leader today?? I don't see it on either side.....many forget the price we paid in years gone by.....our country has a blend of newcomers & they only see the goodies this country provides....sad that we don't explain the price we paid ......imho.

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 10:09 am
3
4
da

Exactly! That's what conservative means--either go back to some imagined golden past or at least keep things from changing even more than they have. The conservatives of 1776 wanted to keep everything
as it was. Conservatives since then have, as you say, resisted the expansion of rights for about any minority you can think of, preferring instead to hold on to what they've always known, an America controlled mostly by white, straight, Christian men. But the times, as they say, are achangin' !!

justthefacts
24086
Points
justthefacts 07/04/13 - 10:16 am
5
0
Maybe

However, the spark plug of the revolution was unfair taxes. Probably more like Tea Party folk.

justthefacts
24086
Points
justthefacts 07/04/13 - 10:21 am
7
0
History

Thankfully, those white, straight, Christian men did a pretty good job.

Bizkit
34439
Points
Bizkit 07/04/13 - 10:36 am
1
1
I wish the country were

I wish the country were moving to true and more freedom but that isn't the case. We take one step forward with gay unions and a step back by "infringing" on the right to arms. Then the "progressive" tax system that discriminates against people by income-that isn't equality and no matter what the economic experts say it still discriminates. I agree that conservatives are too "status quo" and lament for some mythical past but progressive like to change for the sake of change often throwing the baby out with the bath water. I hope more moderates and liberals will move center and gain power to stop the insanity of the polar fundamentalist conservatives and progressives. We go from one extreme to another-the Buddha was correct in the middle path is often best. LOL> Personally I find some of both conservative and progressive solutions as reasonable and viable but neither seem capable of implementing any idea.

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 10:36 am
1
4
jtf

Good, but you forget the rest of the conservative accomplishments:
"Thankfully, those white, straight, Christian men did a pretty good job
of retaining their power and privileges by restricting the power and privileges of women, blacks, hispanics, gays, and so forth."

effete elitist liberal
3173
Points
effete elitist liberal 07/04/13 - 10:37 am
1
1
bizkit

A nice thought for the 4th!

CobaltGeorge
170758
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/04/13 - 10:55 am
4
1
Will Someone Please

educate this poor unfortunate, uneducated, uninformed, thinking I was an American who put his life on the line for 20 years as to what is one factual point from this Liberal list as something good for America.

socialism, atheism, welfarism, debt, immorality, and "statism," with a government attempting to crush our liberties and the liberal media abetting it.

To think that I could have lost my life for the wrong reasons!

Please enlighten me?

justthefacts
24086
Points
justthefacts 07/04/13 - 10:43 am
6
0
EEL

Even if I accepted your premise, which I don't. How can you ignore all the good this country has done? All the groups you mention have fared far better in this country than any other that ever exisited.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/04/13 - 10:45 am
1
5
Who and what %

The editorial seems to be saying that Americans are on the verge of distroying our fundation of the country. My question is, "What percentage of the population and which part of our population is causing this worry ?

Darby
28444
Points
Darby 07/04/13 - 10:56 am
6
1
"Darby, you might want to reread your

American history book."

Don't need to. I have a minor in American History. I never once said that it was a "perfect analogy", that was apparently a construct of your mind, not mine.

I was simply making a point and you obviously got it.

"the Royalists, were the conservatives of their day...."

Now that's really funny. Hilarious in fact. Then I guess that Ben Franklin, George Washington, Tom Jefferson, Tom Paine, John Hancock, John Adams, et al, were the cutting edge Obama, Kerry, Clinton liberals of their time, right???

nocnoc
47475
Points
nocnoc 07/04/13 - 11:05 am
3
1
Remember the 1st step in change is

convincing the low information voters change is needed.

I have been hearing a lot that the US Constitution is outdated and needs changing or updating into modern plain English language.

I disagree, the US Constitution is clearly understood to the EDUCATED reader. No Law or political degree is needed.

faithson
5456
Points
faithson 07/04/13 - 11:13 am
1
3
there was NO economic policy enshrined in our founding documents

No, the founding fathers were all about 'forming a more perfect Union'. Our present economics are an evolution out of the late 19th century. An evolution that is on going. Where some see 'profit' as the holy grail, others see egilatarianism as the holy grail... like biz said, the answer lies somewhere 'in between', a place we are slowly moving toward. A basic problem that liberal thinking has created is the 'nanny state'. Work is man's destiny, no where in all of the past literature does a man get away with just hangin' out. The effort to 'right' this ship will include agreement from both sides of the divide. I can't let the conservatives off on creating problems either, they have, by their stubborn positions, created a gulf that will wither away as they themselves 'wither' into non-relavance as their righteousness leaves them marginalized in the social evolution as it proceeds. It is to our deteriment that the once great 'republican fiscal conservatives' will be swept away with intolerant conservatives we see driving the party in our time.

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