The Fourth of July is truly an American holiday like no other. It is a birthday celebration for an idea, the concept that a great nation could be formed if those to be governed were given true power over those who govern.
Across the country this weekend people will celebrate, though few will pause to remember that this historic summertime holiday has its roots not in backyard barbecues nor visits to the lake, but rather in the birth of a nation.
You don’t hear it referenced very often any more, but the Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day, in recognition of the signing of the Declaration of Independence to declare the separation between the American people and the British monarchy.
The end result of that declaration was the formation of a nation that has become the most powerful in the world, all because a group of visionary and patriotic leaders were not afraid to leave the comfort of that which they had known to pursue that in which they believed.
You have to wonder, though, how much of that independent spirit survives today.
As a nation, we too often turn first to government for the solutions to our problems, and in doing so sacrifice independence for the comfort of security.
Those bold patriots who added their signatures to the Declaration of Independence in 1776, including three from Georgia, did so knowing that their actions would lead to war, and that they gambled their lives and futures by declaring their separation from the British Crown.
Yet today members of Congress can’t pass a budget without pork barrel spending, can’t put aside partisan differences long enough to unite in acts of war, can’t resolve big issues such as illegal immigration, can’t stand up to special interests, can’t limit entitlements, can’t stand the thought of the American people being free and independent from oppressive government rules and regulations.
Still, somehow we’ve managed to make it work, up until now at least. But how much longer can this great experiment continue, as we move closer and closer to the point where the number of people dependent on government’s largesse for their daily bread is greater than the number contributing to the government coffers?
Think about that this weekend, as you enjoy time with the family and the bountiful blessings of life in this great nation. The authors of the Declara-tion wrote, "Govern-ments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …"
This Independence Day, are we willing to exert our power over the government to bring it back to what our Founding Fathers envisioned, or will we happily abdicate that responsibility to others, so that decades from now the nation whose birth is celebrated this weekend will be but a memory for future generations?