Today's national holiday is an opportunity for some mid-summer recreation but it is also an occasion to remember the origins of our nation. As Father Mathew Monnig said:
"While some modern historians reduce all history to power and economics, it is difficult to read the Declaration of Independence and not recognize its writers as men of principle and deep faith, who possessed the courage to act upon ideas they knew to be true. These men were not relativists, but knew that truth could be known because it comes from God, and that certain truths require action and sacrifice. They realized that the truth that man is created by God with certain inalienable rights actually had the power to protect him from the self-interested manipulations of power and economics."
Truth has consequences. It can spur action and sacrifice. It has the ability to protect the weak and establish freedom, justice, and peace. When the very possibility of truth is weakened, we imperil the foundations of our nation. On this national holiday, I hope we all remember that we owe our freedom and prosperity to the power of truth, and commit ourselves to the service of that truth in both our public and private lives.
On July 4, 1800, Daniel Webster delivered an address in Hanover, New Hampshire at the age of 18 while he was a student at Dartmouth College. As I contemplate the two men from whom we must select our next president I am reminded about what young Daniel Webster said on that day as he reflected on the leadership of our country:
"With hearts penetrated by unutterable grief, we are constrained to ask, where is our Washington? Where the hero, who led us to victory – where the man, who gave us freedom? Where is he, who headed our feeble army, when destruction threatened us, who came upon our enemies like storms of winter and scattered the m like leaves before the Borean blast? Where, O my country is thy political savior? Where, O humanity, thy favorite son?"
Webster was evidently worried that we would not have leaders of our country in the future who compared with George Washington and the few who followed him. If he were here today, Webster may well have at least the same level of concern for the future of the country; for me, I have even more concern because I believe our country is threatened as never before. Both Barack Obama and John McCain want us rushing head long down the path to socialism and government control of virtually all aspects of our lives. Obama is likely doing this intentionally and McCain’s direction is likely out of sheer ignorance; but, unfortunately the result will be the same.
McCain is clearly the lesser of the evils because his ignorance of what is good for the country does not extend to deliberate over taxation as Obama and McCain has a better understanding of the need to not lose the war in Iraq, but in respect of domestic policies leading toward greater government control, he is on the same page with the socialist.
How likely is it that these two candidates or any in public office today, would say as our founders did in the Declaration of Independence, and would mean it:
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
- Concluding sentence of the Declaration of Independence, 1776