Happy 4th of July! You do know this is the celebration of the Declaration of Independence, right? It's not about the constitution. That came later. It's not about our first president, George Washington. We didn't have a president for about a decade. Were you aware of that? I'm sure you all are, I doubt much of the country knows any meaning other than fireworks, hot dogs and hamburgers, and apple pie and ice cream.
The grand kids are old enough now to understand some of what happened. As dinner tonight I read the entire Declaration. I tried to make it as exciting as possible even though most of the words they didn't understand. When was the last time you thought about this sentence, "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"?
What was the gist of the letter we wrote? We said we wanted to split off from England and be our own country. We said we believe God would allow this. We believe that all men are created equal. We have rights that are giving to us by God. Some of them are the right to life, liberty, and to be able to pursue happiness. (The pursuit of happiness doesn't guarantee that you will be happy. The choices you make throughout your life do have an affect on your happiness.) Since the King of England wasn't being fair to the American colonists, they wanted to split away and form their own country.
They included a list of reasons they wanted to make this split. The king didn't want them to pass laws that were good for everyone. When they did pass laws the king wouldn't sign them. (I explained now that if the president doesn't sign a law it can still be a law.) The king thought the colonists shouldn't make the laws, the king thought he and his friends should do so. The king also sent soldiers and government people here and then made the colonists pay for them and forced them to allow the soldiers to stay at their homes uninvited. The soldiers didn't even have to follow any of the rules! When the colonists broke the rules they had to go back to England for a trial.
The king said we could only buy things from England, even if we wanted to buy them from other places. That way England could charge extra taxes. They charged us taxes for everything! Then because we didn't like it the king made deals with the Indians to fight against the colonists.
The colonists knew that God would agree with them. God wants us to be free to serve God, not the king of England, not the president of the US.
This was the quick kid version. England wasn't fair. We set about to change it. The thoughts the colonists had about the English governing them bring about the same thoughts we have about our government today. To reduce them under absolute Despotism - under rule of King Obama. The president we now have isn't fair. I hope we are smart enough to change it.
We had our hot dogs, chips, pickles, corn on the cob, koolaid, and ice cream. It's starting to get dark. I'd better head out to the backyard to start the fireworks.