Greetings this Friday, 4 July 2014, the official date of America’s – properly The United States of America – independence from England. In fact, we – and I use the term hopefully – were not quite independent for another couple years. The British Army surrendered and ceased hostilities on 19 October 1781; then the Treaty of Paris which formally recorded the British admission of independence for the United States was signed in 1783. This is the date we recognize as when it ‘officially’ began to happen.
On this date in 1776 the Continent Congress started signing the rather well known document known as the Declaration of Independence. This year marks two hundred and thirty-eight years.
The Constitution of the United States was ratified on 21 June 1788. The Constitution, comprised of Seven Articles (or Divisions to specify certain functions of the U. S. Government) and twenty-seven amendments is the legal structure upon which the U. S. Government is built. It is, by way of metaphor, the bone and muscle of the U. S. The Constitution directs the Office of the Presidency, the two houses of Congress, the Judiciary, separation of powers and provides for national defense. Again, it is the bone and muscle of the United States. One notes – and this is constantly repeated by those who really don’t understand the function of the United States – the name or title of God does not appear in the Constitution. The closest we find is in the Preamble – the introduction – where the word ‘blessings’ is used. The full phrase is ‘… the Blessings of Liberty…’ (note use of capital letters). One notes the word ‘bless’, ‘blessing’ or ‘blessings’ have a connotation and historic use associated with Divine Providence. But admittedly, the word can be used as a synonym for ‘benefit’ in a secular setting.
However, the Soul of the United States is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is the mission statement, the justification for existence, the underlying beliefs and moral strength of the United States.
In the introduction and the preamble to the Declaration – the first two paragraphs of the document – the writer speaks of God and God’s Creation several times. The entire document is based on the idea of God’s natural laws, and that God created men ‘equal’ in terms of human value and legal status. Note that ‘all men are equal’, not ‘all men are the same’ or all ‘men are interchangeable’.
The U. S. Constitution is a most valuable and – at the risk of enraging the leftists – ‘inspired’ work of man on behalf of government. It is arguably the shortest Constitution of any nation in the world. Perhaps the framers of the Constitution understood the principle of ‘governing best by governing least’?
But we must never forget the Declaration of Independence that provides life and soul to this country, and in turn demanding such an elegant and functional Constitution.