Friday, July 3, 2015

Celebrate America

By Gary L. Bauer

It's not been easy writing these daily reports for the past few days, let alone the past six years. Hope and change has been a nightmare for millions of Americans!

It is especially concerning this week given the urgent warnings of law enforcement officials that ISIS may attempt to carry out terrorist attacks during the July 4th celebrations, hoping to inflict mass casualties.

But let's set aside those concerns for now to celebrate America -- our patriotism, our history, the tremendous courage, faith and sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and America's 239th birthday.

By all means, enjoy the Fourth of July! But please remind your children and grandchildren about America's exceptionalism and the significance of Independence Day. Tell them about America's "values statement," found in the second paragraph
of the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . "

While our Founders celebrated their independence from Great Britain, they were celebrating ordered liberty under God, not licentiousness. The popular culture's notion of liberty -- what Justice Anthony Kennedy prattles on about when inventing a right for men to marry other men -- would have been alien to our founders.

Speaking of liberty and freedom, this year the country marked the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, which ended the scourge of slavery in America. After the battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the greatest testimonies to the American experiment when he declared:

"…we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

The notion of a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" suffered a devastating blow last week when the Supreme Court invalidated the votes and values of millions of Americans.

The mass disenfranchisement of men and women of faith was a chilling exercise of raw political power more suited to tin pot thugs and dictators. It was a sad day for freedom and self-governance.

This July 4th may well be one of the most important in our history. The values that birthed this great nation are under siege at home and abroad. Our future depends on whether folks like you and me can rediscover the courage of our Founding Fathers and reclaim our country.

I'll close with a word of encouragement to our pastors, who, now more than ever, are on the front lines of the culture war given the assault on marriage and religious liberty.

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a lesser-known hero of the War for Independence, was a pastor and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1775, he preached a sermon on Ecclesiastes 3:1 -- "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven."

Pastor Muhlenberg closed his sermon with these words:

"In the language of Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight." 

He then removed his clerical robes and revealed to the congregation that he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental Army.

Pastor Muhlenberg's example of a man of God fighting for our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should give increased fervor and devotion most especially to those who lead us in the fight for faith, family and freedom.

Like few times in our nation's history, this is a time to fight for the values we cherish!

God bless you, my friends, and may God bless the United States of America!