Concepts Captured in Words: America’s Founding Documents

Though I am far from wealthy, right now only moderately healthy, and definitely not by this world’s standards successful!, I have come to realize that, in the words of Brigitte Gabriel, (They Must be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It, A Note of Thanks) the dream is my address.

I live in America.

Though I have before realized that I don’t even come close to appreciating what we have in this great, great country, it is just recently that it’s dawned on me – the huge & marvelous vision that is today the United States of America, was once a dream. And I’m living in it. Concepts captured in words, once intangible & unseen except in minds & hearts, were ultimately, violently and triumphantly made manifest and visible. Generations have partaken, and now it is my turn. I’ve realized what a gift I’ve been given. I did not have to fight for it, nor struggle to get here from somewhere else. I did not have to take a citizenship class. From the womb, I was an American, in America. I did not deserve it, I do not deserve it now, and I will never deserve it.

His grace has been bestowed upon me, lavishly, freely.

 ~~~

…so, tracing events back to the days of our Founding Fathers, as always we meet with those history-changing words written on paper. (Well, parchment, I guess…!) Other than the Scriptures, in my view, not much else supercedes or even parallels, the import and the authority of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. I have believed this for a few years now, but since I’ve begun watching online lectures about these two documents, realms not yet grasped are opening up to me. With delight, I’m beginning to see those above-mentioned invisible concepts captured in words.

Jesus tells us that His words are spirit and life. (John 6:63) From this, if you believe His words, we could deduce that life originates in His spirit. Spirit is invisible to the human eye, but exists nonetheless…so I’m thinking that those invisible concepts couched in the phrasing of our First Documents are concepts of spirit and life springing from the One who is the Tree of Life. Their source guarantees their authority. Which is why they have worked for over two hundred years, and will continue to work if we abide by them.

~~~

…so as I’m learning more & more about the content of our Founding Documents, I’ve begun to see the safeguards to life & liberty, not only placed within those documents, but even implemented in the very processes which produced them.

For example:

During this current Republican Presidential nomination campaign, we’ve seen a lot of bad press about Mitt Romney’s ‘flip-flopping’ on various issues. (That tendency was probably pointed out as regards other/former candidates as well – but Mitt seems to have had the upper hand on this one!) I had thought, Okay, but in some cases, over time, with new information and more careful thought, it might be wisdom to revise one’s position. Sure, we don’t want a capricious or a spineless leader, but intractable is not good, either. In fact, someone who is willing to eat humble pie, for the sake of truth and the good of the people, well – my hat’s off to that person! (I never looked into the specifics of the Romney flip-flop allegations; maybe they were merely opportunistic back-pedaling…I don’t know…but maybe, not always.)

Interestingly enough, in his remarks at Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention,  Benjamin Franklin himself admitted to his experience of many such reversals of judgments & opinions, being compelled “by better information or fuller consideration” to do so.  Even, sometimes, on important issues, about which he had previously been sure he was right.  (Diane Ravitch & Abigail Thernstrom, Editors, The Democracy Reader)

So, in order to accommodate just such ‘reversed earlier positions’ & ‘avoid public embarrassment’, during the Convention, most Constitutional debates were held in secret as a “Committee of the Whole”, not a formal sitting of the Convention itself. This method guaranteed a more ‘speaking freely’ atmosphere, after which, officially as delegates to the Convention, these men then formally approved their conclusions. Covering all the bases from all the angles, well & thoroughly, was an utmost priority to our Founders. Decisions were not to be rushed, shortchanged, or forced. (In fact, over 60 ballots were taken before the issue of the Presidential election process was resolved.) (W. Cleon Skousen, The 5000 Year Leap)

In his closing remarks, once the Constitution was completed and before it was unanimously approved, Benjamin Franklin exhorted his fellow delegates to, as he would, let any remaining doubts they had die within the walls of their meeting room.  After four months of strenuous debate, Franklin believed that the Constitution they had crafted was possibly the best that men could form.  Because expressions of lingering dissent might “prevent its being generally received” by the people and cause loss of  “great advantages” to the people, to posterity and among the nations of that day, he counseled unanimity in agreement. He counseled turning “future thoughts and endeavours to the means of having it well administered.”   (Diane Ravitch & Abigail Thernstrom, Editors, The Democracy Reader) 

“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…”  (Philippians 3:13)

~~~

Brilliant minds and passionate hearts met within the walls of that historic convention hall in Philadelphia in 1787.  Their commitment was absolute. But more than that, their love for the nation they were creating was unstoppable.

Please join me as I continue learning about these men and the ‘miracle that changed the world.’

“…he that is greatest among you…”

A number of topics are contending for my attention here at ‘Jesus, the Revolution & You’.  Swatches of posts already written linger in my mind, and are prodding me to write more! write more!  But those particular posts & topics are not ones to be taken lightly.  I can’t dash off a quick article.  And extra hours at work have drained my energy, so I’m not up to the task of sustained, focused output right now.  (Plus, Christmas is coming!)  I decided, however, to at least begin sorting through the piles & sheaves of article print-outs, books, etc. scattered about my ‘writing area’, and hopefully find a starting point.

~~~

Revolutionary War interests-turned-passion eventually led me into American government & politics.  How could it not?  But to truly be able to help in our present, I believe we need to venture back into the past.  I believe that a broader overview of not just the pre- and post-Revolutionary world, but also world history, can only enhance one’s perception & understanding of the nature of man’s desires, his struggles & efforts to achieve them, and the outcome of those efforts. Granted, it gets complicated! but it seems like wisdom to me.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  (Proverbs 29: 18)

~~~

…so in the interests of my own increased understanding, I’ve continued in my Islamic research, and there are no plans to stop doing that.  Looking through my papers today, I found myself re-reading more carefully about how the split between the Sunni and the Shia Muslims began.  For a little while now, I’ve been gathering information on the ‘moderate Muslim’, and some surprising information at that.  I was reminded of the Libyan rebel concerns, voiced in September, of Islamist takeover (which seems to be happening) and, of course, always at play in these scenarios, in the background or the forefront, we have the Muslim Brotherhood.  Despite all the bad press they receive - I’m not saying it isn’t warranted – I want to look into it more myself.

I’m still not fully convinced that certain elements of our government were not, in some way, involved in September 11, 2001.  I never finished reading a lengthy report I have on the collapse of Tower 7.  But what I did read made sense, even to a non-engineer such as myself.  Like I said…not convinced.  And I haven’t even scratched the surface of secret societies and the international banking cartel.

May I say…Sheesh!  What a potpourri!

Ultimately, it’s all connected.  When you work backwards, and arrive in the Garden (you know the one – the serpent? Eve? an apple? {some say}), then go forward from there, we’ll find it all ties together.  I remain convinced that the real battle, the eternal battle, manifesting itself in so many ways, is between Old Testament Law in any & all of its forms, and the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

~~~

.

.. but where I’ve ended up today, specifically, concerns Barack Obama.

In recent political roundtables & maybe candidate debates, I’ve heard mentions made that after three years as President, many people still do not know for what Obama stands.  Who he really is. “…people in this country don’t think that this president’s real anymore.  He’s not genuine anymore,” states WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan.  This seems to be a legitimate cause for some concern.  Has such a statement ever been made about any other American president? Although I don’t know for sure, I doubt it.  A reason has been suggested as to why Obama remains to some extent undefined in the public eye, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

“… do you know what Obama stands for, where he would take us? I don’t know.”   These are the words of Chris Matthews, host of  the Sunday morning political roundtable bearing his name.   Two of his guests on this particular recent program, which aired on October 30,  voiced similar sentiments.  Ms. Katty Kay (BBC Anchor, “BBC World News America”): “ …it’s been one of the questions about this presidency, what’s the narrative of this presidency, what’s the kind of aim of this president.”  And John Heilemann  (New York Magazine) adds: “…but there’s also the sense that he’s been kind of static through these three years.”   ” As a state senator he studiously avoided voting on issues that might alienate  supporters; he ran for president as a blank slate, and that vagueness worked out  very well indeed.”  writes Liz Peek, FOX News columnist, in her June, 2011 opinion piece ” As 2012 Approaches, We Still Don’t Know What Obama Stands For .”  And actually, the statement that got me thinking about all this was made by someone I can’t quite place, speaking on which program I can’t quite remember.  I have tried repeatedly to backtrack transcripts, and have ended up with eyestrain but  no source information.  (So I’m givin’ up on that one.)

I remember hearing about President Obama’s tendency to see this side and that side of a situation, to examine it from opposing perspectives.  A calm, rational analysis.  This characteristic was presented in a positive light, and it seems to me that it should be presented in that light. Up to a point.  Has he too many times lingered in the Land of Not Being Clear Enough too long?  I myself will never forget, that when the news of the proposed Ground Zero Mosque went viral, and the American citizenry was appalled, shocked, angry and upset, this man refused any comment or opinion other than that he didn’t think it was wisdom to comment at that  time.  Maybe he did make other public comments later…but I never heard them.  Except for his eventual statements referencing freedom of religion, I am not familiar with any initial response, other than what I just mentioned.  How could the President of the United States of America not have a stronger reaction to such a proposal?  Even a little bit more reaction, showing whose side he was on!  Maybe in the years to come, in hindsight I’ll see that it was wisdom.  Not there yet…nowhere near it.

~~~

Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, paints a  picture of Barack Obama as a divider.     “…now he’s going out around America…as the great divider… He wants to turn this country into the divided States of America.  That is the Obama strategy.” (Meet the Press)   

Others have made similar observations. 

“These are tough times…too many Americans are hurting today…hardships have reopened our long-standing national debate over what it means to be an exceptional nation.”  Rep. Paul Ryan, in a lecture given recently at the Heritage Foundation, made this statement during his discussion of the American Idea  vs. the politics of division. This discussion pits divisive political practices against a “constant striving to live up to our Founding principles.” His reasoning revolves around President Obama, and points us to class warfare and driving wedges.  In other words, a divider.

“People are increasingly fearing the divisions within, even the potential coming apart of, our country”, writes Peggy Noonan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal. (When even I have listened to neighbors & co-workers speak of possible rebellion and street riots, then you know that such a statement is not groundless.)  She attributes this fear to “… a sense now that the glue that held us together for more than two centuries has thinned and cracked with age.”  Part of how Ms. Noonan defines this glue involves leaders & citizenry whose love for this country springs from knowing our roots, knowing that our beginnings, our foundations and in fact our continuing existence was and is unique among all nations throughout all time.  Knowing ” …that there was something providential in our beginnings”, and being grateful for that.   What she describes sounds like American exceptionalism to me!  And a divider would not consistently endorse nor promote that concept.

Those who divide – and most of us know people who do or have – are not interested in a whole, healthy organism.  They in fact want to weaken it.  They use fear and/or envy to sow discontent and cause separations, and they do this to further their own cause.  Rep. Ryan also points out that  “…many in Washington use the politics of division to evade responsibility for their failures…”  In my daily life, I am required to interact with an individual who operates within such a method, and I can guarantee you that such behavior first appears disguised in a winning charm.  It takes time before those who finally recognize the nature of the beast, do so.  Damage is done, many are influenced without ever realizing it while strings are constantly being pulled behind the scenes.  The shape and content of the whole has been altered considerably because of one individual ego.

“In Obama’s case, he is trying to redefine America’s existence.”  (Pajamas Media)

~~~

Earlier I had mentioned a possible reason for President Obama’s being, to some extent, ‘ undefined in the public eye’ after almost three years in office.  Why remain ambiguous?  Is there a hidden surprise here?  “This is a man who wrote not one but two autobiographies and remains an enigma”, writes Leon de Winter, in the above referenced Pajamas Media article.  But Mr. de Winter has come to a conclusion that exposes this enigma.  He believes that what Obama seeks to accomplish during his time in Washington, he intends to reproduce on a grand and universal scale.  Washington is only a stepping stone.  It is not really about America, it is about ambition.  Global ambition.

The following excerpt from this article may explain everything:

But he has to walk a fine line: he can neither ruin America nor restore America’s full power and prosperity. He seems to dream of an American sort of European Union — safe, pleasant, but also powerless, lacking the passionate soul of a true nation, slowly fading out with graying populations in unbearably costly welfare states, depending ever more on non-Western immigrants steadily changing our cultural fabric

In order to save the world from devastating global warming and climate change — and, indeed, all fatal consequences of capitalism — the restless progressives in the world are uniting. Obama is well prepared to position himself as their prophet — or messiah.

Internationalism, global governance, America the evil — these are ideas Obama has absorbed for year after year. As a smart, suave man, he knew exactly what he was doing when he started to climb the ladder. Capitalizing — if I may use the word — on his luck, Obama had the intuition to pick capable operators for his campaigning and policymaking teams.

His conservative critics dramatically underestimate him. Obama knows precisely what kind of America he envisions. He wants to mold a certain type of America in order to mold a certain type of global governance. For that, he needs another term to reach his goal.”

~~~

“…if he is given a second term, the whirlwind will be reaped”, warns Barry Rubin in Rubin Reports, and that ominous sentiment is echoed by business magnate but even more so, patriotic American Donald Trump. An Obama second term, he said on NewsMax.TV,  would be “devastating for the United States as we know it,” adding that the United States  would find it “very hard to ever recover.”

~~~

I wish I did not, but I completely agree.  I no longer watch Obama on televised appearances, nor listen to his speeches.  I feel his words are hollow.  His continued position as President of the great and glorious United States of America threatens that greatness and glory, and many of us know this.

I titled this post “…he that is greatest among you…” (Matthew 23:11)  because the rest of this verse tells us “…shall be your servant.”  I do not know that we see evidence of servanthood in Barack Obama; rather, I fear we see just the opposite.  I realize that it is very possible to pull together bits & pieces of this & that, facts, statements, etc. and paint a picture with words that may not actually BE what it then appears to be.  That is very, very possible.   But I see this kind of information & rhetoric concerning Barack Obama, his past, his present actions and his motives, in too many places.

May God continue to bless and keep America.  May He save us, as the psalmist King David wrote so long ago, from the hand of him that is too strong for us, from the hand of the one that ‘spoileth’  (Psalm 35:10).  And may 2012 grace us with a leader whose heart seeks to save America and serve her people.

~~~

 

…1776 yet Continues in my Heart…

“…those who study…the American Revolution and the years immediately  following it cannot escape the conclusion that this was…one of the great periods of history in which to be alive.”   (Robert G. Athearn, A New Nation, American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States, Volume 4)

We live our lives day-to-day, so many similar details & routines swallowing up those days.  This is the nature of things.  Pretty much unavoidable for many of us.  For me, these details & routines play out in the United States of America, the land first set aside for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Considering this, it seems that my experiences here should be much more vividly colored!  They should be pulsing, thrilling, and rivetingly focused.

Well, much of the time, they are not.

Splotched  on top of what they are not,  frequently enough to weigh me down, are  forays into things Islamic and Middle Eastern.  I am led down the paths of the knowledge of jihad, sharia law, homeland security, and counter-terrorism.  Because of these things, I have also felt the weight of the glory of profound honor for our troops.  Because of these things, every day, more & more I deeply respect and highly value all those who serve in our covert operations, our surveillance and our intelligence missions.  

I can live the life that I do, the way that I do it, because these men & women, these soldiers & patriots, serve, defend & protect the American homeland and the American way.  They make it possible.  Because they make it possible, the environment necessary for freedom to flourish and be maintained yet continues.  In that environment may yet continue debates over Constitutionality, national and political challenges, government scandals…protests, strikes & sit-ins…the good, the bad & the ugly can continue to come and go in these United  States of America.  And if you have the eyes and heart to see it, amidst & throughout it all, is the spirit of the men & women who started this ball rolling over 235 years ago.

~~~~~~

Let’s take Congress, for instance…

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times – the American people complaining about their elected representatives in the House & Senate.  I am not saying the complaints are without good reason – I’m just saying, complaints frequently abound!

Well, so it was in 1783.

Of course, the scenario at that time was quite different from today’s.  The United States of America was barely just born.  Can you even imagine it?!!  On the verge of a final peace treaty with her former monarch, a fully free and independent new nation, burgeoning with magnificence, her potential boundless.  Where, oh where to begin?  Most fortunately for America, “Never has a young nation been so richly endowed with vigorous leaders” because  she “…had need of all the brilliance that the Founding Fathers could bring to bear…” (Athearn)   That potential, boundless though it was, was fraught with risk.  How does one harness freedom?  Yet without some sort of guiding rein…some form of structure…anarchy, chaos and destruction could be lying in wait in a rocky, uncharted future. 

At this time, the United States had the least government of any country in the civilized world.  A far cry from Washington, D.C today, isn’t it?  All over the Internet, I see cries for less government.  People hate Washington.  Many are the times I’ve read/heard the general sentiment, ‘Let’s fire ‘em all, elect a whole new Congress’.  Turns out the Congress of post-Revolution days wasn’t all that popular either.  For different reasons, perhaps, but  I think it bears pointing out that Congress was “abused, laughed at, and cursed in every company”. (Athearn)  Congress was so abused, in fact, that in the summer of 1783, they literally fled for their very safety, from Philadelphia to Princeton, New Jersey. They had to escape  across the river!

Elias Boudinot

Aggravated to the point of mutinous revolt, Philadelphia & Lancaster troops surrounded Congress Assembled at Independence Hall, demanding back pay for their military service. Both the Congress and its President, Elias Boudinot, were held hostage there until they somehow managed to slip away and seek the protection of the New Jersey militia. 

…sooo…irate, disgruntled citizens of the United States of America, thronging the streets of Philadelphia, protesting economic conditions & demanding satisfaction…bearing arms, no less!…sounds like America to me!  The way it is, the way it was and the way it was intended to be. 

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Sadly – yet almost with a twist of wry humor – not only were citizens disgusted with Congress, it sounds like even Congress was disgusted with itself.  There was a six month period, through 1785 into 1786, during which there were only three days “when enough members were present to conduct business.”  This kind of discontent & frustration reminds me of  the mood often prevalent at my place of employment – many of us, if we did not need the money, would just throw in the towel.  One scenario government, the other civilian, centuries apart yet with a familiar ring  -  America then, America now. 

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Independence Hall

…lest I should be remiss and overlook an opportunity to encourage, let me point out here that because of the conditions & circumstances producing the above events, and others soon to follow, a Philadelphia convention was eventually called, seeking remedies.  That convention resulted in the unparalleled Constitution of the United States of America.
~~~~~~

 

 

the Arab Spring, ancient Egypt, & Jesus Christ

 

“And the spirit of Egypt shall fail…”   (Isaiah 18: 3)

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”   (2 Cor.3: 17)

Rising for freedom in Tripoli

As one Arabian country after another began resisting the established rule of tyrants & dictators, and revolution broke out in almost a domino effect, how could we not see the deep & impassioned cry for liberty therein?  Though many have suggested Muslim Brotherhood manipulation – and very possibly there was/is – still, weren’t the consequent eruptions of rebellion, though violent, the result of a desire for the long-withheld  freedom God intended man to have?  Whether these people knew the God in which I believe or not, they knew what they were missing as far as their personal liberty was concerned.  Man was created to grow & function within certain environments, be they emotional, spiritual, environmental or social, and when key elements are missing in any of these environments, one way or another we feel that pain.

Fights erupt, battles are fought, wars are waged for different reasons.  Opposing sides clash in a contest of wills & goals.  It seems to me, though, that all conflicts are fueled to some degree by the universal desire for freedom.  Freedom to live as one chooses, where one chooses – in fact, freedom to choose! - freedom to pursue happiness…now where have we heard that before?  Oh, right, the Declaration of…what?  Independence.

One more time…Independence.

~~~~~~

Enter an adversary.  Or, the Adversary…who will obstruct your plans, your rights.  In whatever way will work for him/her/them, an adversary is out to get you, or what belongs to you, be it possessions, property, relationships, well-being or your life.  Your enemy does not want to let you just live your life, free & unhindered.  Through varied means, your enemy needs to try to control at least part of it.

I submit that the motivation provoking such actions is, essentially, jealousy.  Coveting what one does not have, perhaps thinks they can’t get, and hating the one who can. Needing not to feel that loss or void, they contrive, manipulate & deceive to acquire the elusive prize…from you or someone else.  Or, to put it another way, “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain…”  (James 4:2)

I find it interesting that this section of Scripture houses words such as lust, kill, enmity, and envy, but immediately following these verses we see the appearance of the grace of God.  Hmmm…if we are humble enough to receive His grace, perhaps we will find a way out of the whole lust/murder cycle.

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Isaiah records much concerning Egypt of Old Testament times.  I am not a student of Old Testament history, and so, not knowledgeable of exactly what it all means.  For purposes of this article, let’s just say that ancient Egypt was a powerful, wealthy country, no stranger to wars & battles, and essentially Godless. Big on idols. Probably not a champion of human rights.  And I’m pretty sure slavery didn’t cause  Pharaoh and his crowd to lose any sleep at night.  We would not call the Egypt of that day ‘the good guy’.

Chapter 19 of Isaiah begins with these words “The burden of Egypt.”  I always get this onerous sense of dread whenever the word ‘burden’ shows up in prophetic Scriptures….usually not a harbinger of good things to come! (at least for one of the parties involved!)  So it is here – “…the LORD shall…come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.”  Note that this reaction is just to His presence – He hasn’t even taken any actions yet.  He just arrived on the scene.  Afterwards of course, chaos ensues.  But my point is that there comes a moment when He arrives. And things begin changing.

Which is what I suspect is the real force behind the Arab Spring.

In this world, in a material/technical or motivational sense, nothing exists apart from some form of impurity or pollution.  That is simply the nature of earthly reality.  But possible Islamic maneuverings aside, before or during, previously or at present (and I really have trouble believing that these maneuverings aren’t an element here, one way or another),  I believe at root, the spirit of liberty that is found in the LORD, and which I believe is the same Spirit that powered the American Revolutionary War, is at work again today, in 2011, in these burdened lands of & around once-ancient Egypt.

~~~~~~

“…God uses the sword for surgery, not anarchy.”  (Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible, pg.384)

I like the sound of that!  This statement is made as part of a commentary on Chapter 19 of Isaiah, and points us forward in time and history.  Though it has surely seemed impossible in the past, and hard to believe even now, God has plans for ‘Egypt’ that may surprise you.  I know they’ve floored me…let’s move ahead to the end of this chapter.

“In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.”  (v. 24,25)

With God, nothing shall be impossible.

~~~~~~

Independence Day Thoughts, 2011

Unfortunately , this July 4th. finds me severely distracted, and the joy & patriotism I should be feeling escape me. Instead of my own writings, therefore, I’m posting Independence Day thoughts from Brigitte Gabriel, the founder & President of ACT! for America. Her words moved me, and I’ve highlighted some of them here -


July 4, 1776, was a world-changing historic event. It was the birth, not only of a nation, but an ideal…

America’s founding fathers captured these virtues in a way that no other generation of people had ever done before, or, I dare say, since.

~~~


…that ideal, lived out from one generation to another, has shined so brightly that people from across the face of the earth have struggled and even died to come to America’s shores in the hope of finding freedom and opportunity they could not find anywhere else.

~~~

The least we can do to safeguard the legacy our founding fathers deeded to us is to throw off the shackles of political correctness and fearlessly stand up for the values that made America a shining city on a hill to the whole world.

It is time to silence those who see nothing good in America and who claim, dishonestly and falsely, that America is the source of all the world’s ill.

~~~

 Tyranny triumphs when leaders become mediocre and haters become organized.

~~~
As important as all other causes are, if we lose our freedom to tyrants or our lives to terrorists all other causes will not matter.

~~~~~~

(Below is her message in its entirety.)

July 4th is more than another holiday. Much, much more.

July 4, 1776, was a world-changing historic event. It was the birth, not only of a nation, but an ideal, an ideal that people around the world have aspired to ever since.

This ideal has become known as “American Exceptionalism.” The characteristics of this ideal include self-government, liberty, volunteerism and self-sacrifice. Yes, it’s true, these noble virtues are not unique to America—but America’s founding fathers captured these virtues in a way that no other generation of people had ever done before, or, I dare say, since.

Since America was born, each generation of Americans has been called to stand up as a beacon of light to the world, to fight evil and spread justice. We’ve had to fight evil and injustice abroad, as we did in World War II, and at home, as we did in the Civil War.

Because human beings are imperfect the ideal America stands for has been imperfect. But that ideal, lived out from one generation to another, has shined so brightly that people from across the face of the earth have struggled and even died to come to America’s shores in the hope of finding freedom and opportunity they could not find anywhere else.

As I sat in my bomb shelter in Lebanon those seven years, I was one of those who dreamed of coming to America and having the opportunity to live that “American dream.” Little did I know then that today I would be writing you this message about the significance of July 4th, Independence Day.

Many of our founding fathers paid a great price to give us, and the world, a Declaration of Independence, a Constitution, and a Bill of Rights. Some paid the price with their lives. Others lost family members and others died broke.

The least we can do to safeguard the legacy our founding fathers deeded to us is to throw off the shackles of political correctness and fearlessly stand up for the values that made America a shining city on a hill to the whole world.

Today, in the spirit of our founding fathers, we are summoned to lead in our communities and our nation. We are summoned to wake up the apathetic and inspire the despaired, to silence the liars and educate the patriots. For if we fail to inform the ignorant, we will fail to save the informed.

It is time to throw political correctness on to the ash heap of history. It is time to silence those who see nothing good in America and who claim, dishonestly and falsely, that America is the source of all the world’s ills. It is time to stand together united as ONE against the evil of radical Islam—not as African-Americans, Lebanese-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Italian-Americans—but as Americans!!!

Evil flourishes when courageous men and women become bystanders. Lies spread when the informed become silent. Society deteriorates when apathy replaces activism. Tyranny triumphs when leaders become mediocre and haters become organized.

We have been blessed so generously by this country, and to whom much is given much is required. Each one of us is an instrument of change with history as our final judge. As important as all other causes are, if we lose our freedom to tyrants or our lives to terrorists all other causes will not matter. May we go forth from this weekend into our nation renewed with passion, with determination to defend our country and values, so we may be worthy of walking in our forefathers’ footsteps and deserving of the honor of serving and preserving our nation for our future generations. God bless you, bless our military and veterans, and bless the United States of America.

Yours in devotion for liberty, security and freedom,



Brigitte Gabriel