What does the Fourth of July mean to you? It's often a time for families and friends to get together, enjoy a barbeque, watch some fireworks, and treat it as a night just like any other night (except add in massive amounts of delicious food, sparklers, and maybe a boating excursion). Far too often, the Fourth has become a commonplace holiday; we celebrate it as a holiday, but we typically forget the significance of this holiday in our nation and what it means for our freedom. I know I am quick to be consumed by the array of food spread out on the picnic table, the games going on, and the fireworks being displayed.
Certainly, it is a great thing that so many Americans use the Fourth as a time for family and social gatherings; however, I know I am guilty of celebrating without being grateful for our freedom, for the Founders, and for what the Fourth means in our lives. Thanks to InsiderOnline, a site hosted by The Heritage Foundation, we can all gain some inspiration from conservative and libertarian leaders about the Founding and the Founders on the Fourth. Here's what a few of them have to say:
What was the most important idea of the Founders?
Ginni Thomas, President of LibertyCentral.org writes,
"While the Founders understood that men were not angels, they also recognized the inherent danger of powerful, centralized government. The simultaneous recognition of both of these principles is remarkable and formed the philosophical foundation for our system of limited Constitutional government. This foundation provided for the greatest degree of individual liberty within a robust independent civil society that could form, naturally, a just and successful society."
Jamie Radtke, Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation answers,
"In my opinion, one of their most significant achievements was the idea of a written constitution. Our U.S. Constitution was designed to serve as a limitation on federal powers, which is what makes it unique and powerful."
Do you have a favorite story about the founding?
Erin O'Keefe, Chairman of the Sam Adams Alliance answers,
"The Boston Tea Party happened during a time of very low taxes, and the tea in the harbor had the lowest price of any tea from Britain for years, because the British government sharply lowered the duties on the tea, while retaining a modest tax. The duty and the tax both went to the British government, but the patriots had drawn a line that did not define duties as taxes. So the British imposed that tax not to raise revenue, but to exercise their claimed authority to be able to impose whatever taxes they wanted. The Boston Tea Party was conducted entirely based on a principle; taxes were low, not high. But the patriots viewed their local control of government and taxes as an essential anchor for their liberty, so they rebelled at a violation of a basic principle."
For a complete listing of these leaders' responses, visit InsiderOnline.org. May this series help us all to recognize the great blessing of being an American and to remember the significance of the Founders' sacrifices and ideas in our lives. Happy Fourth of July!