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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Declaration of Independence...Is it important today?

Many people are asking the question: Why is the Declaration of Independence important today? It's not something that can be answered completely with a sentence or sound bite. It requires a bit of a study into American history and a journey down the ancient paths of our forefathers. It takes a look at the lives of the signers -- Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Richard Henry Lee, and the rest, as well as the Founders that did not sign the Declaration.
The best place to start is to read the full text of the Declaration itself. Quick -- How many signers of the Declaration? Most Americans can't name ten signers, even though these men pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for the cause of independence. Why would these men risk their lives simply to give up a system that had made most of them very wealthy? They've told us -- read the Declaration to see the reasons they gave. Simply because without it, there may not have been an America as we know it today. Our ancestors fought and died for our liberty! That alone makes the Declaration important to us today!

President Ronald Reagan, why is the Declaration of Independence important today?
"The signing of the document that day in Independence Hall was miracle enough. Fifty-six men, a little band so unique—we have never seen their like since — pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Sixteen gave their lives, most gave their fortunes and all of them preserved their sacred honor. What manner of men were they? Certainly they were not an unwashed, revolutionary rebel, nor were they adventurers in a heroic mood. Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, 11 were merchants and tradesmen, nine were farmers.
Now we are a nation of 211 million people with a pedigree that includes blood lines from every corner of the world. We have shed that American-melting-pot blood in every corner of the world, usually in defense of someone's freedom. Those who remained of that remarkable band we call our Founding Fathers tied up some of the loose ends about a dozen years after the Revolution. It had been the first revolution in all man’s history that did not just exchange one set of rulers for another. This had been a philosophical revolution.They were men who would achieve security but valued freedom more. Let us ask that God’s light may illuminate the minds and hearts of our people and our leaders so that we may meet the challenges that lie before us with courage and wisdom and justice. In prayer, let us recall with confidence the promise of old that if we humble ourselves before God and pray and seek His face, He will surely hear and forgive and heal and bless our land."

The document itself can be broken down into three parts. It states the philosophy of Government, as the Founders (many of whom participated in the creation of the Constitution as well) saw it, it describes specific instances of how their current government (the King of England and Parliament) were going against that philosophy, and finally declares themselves separated from that government.
The importance of the Declaration is only visible to those who understand that philosophy, and see it reflected in the Constitution, because such people are the real hope of the future, as they are the only ones who will be able to ensure that this country remains true to those philosophical principles.

One important example of the application of the Declaration of Independence to the real world is found in the means by which the Constitution was adopted. Once written, it only became effective, by its own terms, if approved by the People themselves. That's an application of the philosophical premise that "governments derive legitimate power from consent of the governed."

If that principle is still true, then anything government does that is not specifically authorized in the Constitution is illegitimate.

What are your feelings on the Declaration of Independence? Please add your comments.


  1. I am convinced it is the only thing that is right in this world, excluding the Bible. But, without the Bible to help guide the founding fathers, we would be no better than slaves and the dark ages would continue. The Declaration of Independence is the corner stone of the United States of America. WE must stand together to defend her from ALL oppressors in and out of the country!! Our children and grandchildren need to be taught the true lessons of the Declaration and it's cost! Then, they can truly appreciate what they have.

  2. Over here in the amen corner, so I'll say a loud AMEN to your message and to the previous commenter. We have an out-of-control gov't now and need to return to the constitution before it's too late.