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July 4: A Worthy Celebration - 07/02/11

1776 was a big year in American history. On Jan. 10, Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense, urging the citizens of the thirteen British colonies in America to decare their independence from Great Britain. On Mar. 11, Adam Smith published An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. On June 11, the Continental Congress chartered a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, the Founding Fathers agreed to the Declaration and set forth the reasons.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Americans are justly proud of their country and right to celebrate. It's not because we are perfect nobody is or perfectly united. It's not because we are without problems we have plenty. It's because we are right in our fundamental principles so eloquently stated in the Declaration:

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. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Most Americans still believe in these principles. A Rasmussen poll released July 1, 2011, found that a whopping 90 percent of adults surveyed agreed "we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Only 4 percent disagreed. The pollster also found that 66 percent of American adults believe that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, but only 23 percent of likely voters believe that the government currently operates on that principle. And nearly half of likely voters told Rasmussen that the gap between the rulers and the ruled today is as big as the gap between the colonies and the British crown in 1776.

Yet, confidence in American government is much better than three years ago.

The poll also addressed the question of equality. It found that whites and adults of other races are more likely than blacks to agree that all men are created equal. And while 80 percent of whites and 81 percent of Americans of other races say they agree in principle that "we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights," only 63 percent of blacks agreed. Notwithstanding, racism is still a festering problem in America.

If there were a crisis of such proportions as the American revolution today, would Americans set aside their differences and mutually pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor? Or are those days past?

I believe most Americans would. When faced with real danger to our way of government and our way of life, we always have stood together.

Conclusion: Go out and celebrate July 4 (and hope it doesn't rain). You've got the rest of the week to worry about problems.