While this day has become an opportunity to exhibit our American pride and patriotism, eat some grilled food and (on most wet years) watch some fireworks, the root of this grand celebration is found in the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is the prime document that establishes our liberty from King George and colonization mind-set of the British Empire. In fact, this day is really our country’s birthday. On July 4, 1776, our nation was born. In the midst of a bloody, bitter war with England, we stood on our own two feet and declared our freedom and our liberty.
Perhaps one of the most famous sentences in history is found in the opening paragraph of our founding document: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And so, on this day, take time to honor the truth that ALL are created equal. It doesn’t matter your color or your station. Each one is equal in the eyes of God and this nation.
Honor the truth that ALL have the right to live a life without restriction.
Honor the self-evident reality that ALL should seek Happiness by pursuing the well-being of one another. (As the cleric and philosopher Richard Cumberland wrote, seeking the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the “pursuit of our own happiness.”)
So, on this day, this Independence Day, celebrate the 236th birthday of this amazing country and unalienable Rights: this country’s founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.