244 years ago, the American Colonists justified their demand for independence from the King of Great Britain by appealing to their God given right to stand as equals among men. It’s likely that very few of those simple, flawed colonists understood that their appeal to the rights bestowed on all by a loving Creator, as a justification for their own freedom, sowed the seed that would ultimately draw into question every form of inequality among God’s children. Amazingly, that seed took root in a land that had known nearly 200 years of slavery, servitude, war, and immense personal hardships. The immediate goals of the Revolution were noble but necessarily limited as the Colonists had engaged the mighty British Empire while severely lacking in unity, funding, arms, supplies, transportation, communication, etc. Burdened with such immense challenges, most of the serious problems that plagued the Colonies in the centuries before the Revolution followed them in their rapid transition from Colonists to Americans. And so, their gift to future generations was not a perfect union but, rather, the courage displayed and sacrifices made in launching America on the long and painful struggle toward a more perfect union, one in which the people and the laws profess that “all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Those of us blessed to be Americans today can never fully repay those who fought so dearly for our Liberty. For today, it’s enough that we stand proudly as Americans, expressing our gratitude for the wonderful gift to our Nation 244 years ago by a million or so courageous, death defying, well intentioned, hard fighting Colonists, most of whom were, like all of us, imperfect in so many ways. The small flame of Liberty sparked by their sacrifices and courage grew to consume tyrants around the globe, lift billions from poverty, cure diseases, champion religious liberty, elevate women’s status, unleash global demands for human rights, create the most world's most respected system of criminal justice, take mankind to the moon, and so much more.
Happy Independence Day