Happy Birthday US of A! In the beginning, there were those that chose the New World for religious freedom. Back in June of 1776, representatives from the Thirteen Colonies were gathered to continue discussing freedom and British imperial policies such as taxation, representation, frontier policy, and British martial law in Massachusetts. When it was finally concluded that reconciliation was not possible, the Continental Congress voted on July 2, 1776, to declare independence. This was all well and good, except that someone with authority had to tell the most powerful kingdom in the world that this upstart nation no longer wanted any part of them. A committee of 5 persons was organized to prepare the document: Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson. On July 4, 1776, the document was approved by those assembled and signed by their President John Hancock and followed by the other fifty-five members. In essence, war had been declared. There was no tweet or Facebook post that day directed toward King George III or mocking Parliament. But, it was clear that Great Britain was aware of the situation as previously on April 19, 1775, the battles at Lexington (“shot heard round the world”) and Concord (Massachusetts) had been fought. More battles would ensue. It would look bleak for the fledgling republic, but then the tide would turn in miraculous ways, and a peace treaty signed in Paris, France on November 30, 1782, would end the war. The war would be officially concluded on September 3, 1783, with the Treaty of Paris and grant the nation full independence and recognition as the United States of America.
There are those songs that exude patriotism. Three songs have my attention: America the Beautiful, My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, and The Star-Spangled Banner. They were taught to me in elementary school and church. I marvel at how easily these songs stir my emotions and the flood that overtakes me when sung with large numbers. I am sure that our Founding Fathers share my feelings. There is an interesting thread that connects these three songs. In American the Beautiful, God is mentioned; shed his grace, mend thine ev’ry flaw, and thy gold refine. My Country, ‘Tis of Thee’s 3rd verse starts out Our fathers’ God . . . Author of liberty and ends the song with Great God, our King! Our Nation Anthem declares Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation! And this be our motto: “in God is our trust!” It is sad that I offend many when I write or say God and that I am politically incorrect. Battle lines are being drawn over the topic of Religious Freedom. Those that penned these songs expressed their faith and this Nation’s Beliefs in their words. Those that founded this nation did so with trust in their God. May I declare that when one removes God from the United States they do so at the peril of removing freedom; these two are inseparable! We have experienced great blessing from a Heavenly Father here in these United States and should be grateful as we celebrate this Fourth of July! Thank you for following me in the Pioneer Review and please leave any comments with the Pioneer Review or at Scott@arenscp.com..■