The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Two-hundred and forty years have passed since the Declaration of Independence was signed by the members of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. That's a very long time; indeed, I can think of few other nations that have existed under the same form of government for so many years. Compared to many other nations, we may be a young country, but we have prospered under one of the oldest, most successful forms of government the world has ever seen. While so many nations have experienced radical changes in government from revolution, coup d'état, uprising, and seizure of power, we have continued under the government defined by the Founders in the Constitution.
Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Whether this uniquely successful form of government will continue is questionable. Instead of supporting the Constitution that has been the bulwark of our freedom, far too many of our politicians consider it an obstacle to the realization of their ideological ends. And so, ignoring the Constitution and the law, they focus on self-aggrandizement and the attainment of power. We have afflicted ourselves with dictatorial executives who usurp the power of other branches, ideological justices who legislate rather than judge, and weak legislators who abdicate their responsibilities.

These dishonorable men are able to continue in power because too many of our citizens are completely ignorant of their own nation's political roots. History is rarely taught in our schools, or it is so distorted by political correctness and leftist ideology that the truth is buried out of sight. Can we turn this around and stop what Constitutional scholar Judge Robert Bork called our Slouching Towards Gomorrah? I'm not very optimistic.

Writing about this I'm reminded of a wonderful little book written almost 60 years ago. My copy was a gift from my father when I was in high school. They Signed for Us offers brief descriptions of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, who in their own words mutually pledged "to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." It's a good read and would make a nice gift to any young person on this Fourth of July.

Here in The Villages, patriotism runs high and our street is lined with hundreds of American flags. Here's a photo I took this morning as Maddie and I returned home from her early walk. Maddie's patiently waiting for me in the lower left of the photo.
Our Street in The Villages - Fourth of July
And my favorite patriotic photo (below) is one I took of our son-in-law, Airton, an immigrant from Brazil, on the day he became an American citizen in 2008. The ceremony took place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Airton's rather remarkable hat was a gift from our other daughter, his sister-in-law, who plopped it on his head once he was officially a citizen.
Airton Santa Ana - American Citizen
Pray for our nation and pray for those we have elected to do the people's work. 

God bless you and your families on this Independence Day.

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