Independence Day, the 4th of July, what does it mean? That is one question that I thought that I would never have to ask, but now I’m beginning to wonder.
I guess that the question that I am really attempting to ask is, what does it mean to be “free”? Are we to define it by our feelings, or are we to define it by other means? I look around at our culture, I try to listen for some sign of adequate argumentation for what it means, and all that I can hear is a vacuous sucking sound: freedom being drained away like a kitchen sink full of water that had its stopper suddenly pulled. There is a demand being placed on culture to surrender one freedom for another.
“Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”, those are the words penned by Thomas Jefferson when he drew together all of the lines of thought and carefully crafted the birth certificate of the United States, and for two hundred years, it seemed as though it was understood what those three words meant, but as we pass the two hundred thirty-eighth year, that understanding has slipped away from my generation. I believe the reason why they have become so obscure is that we have forgotten where they come from.
Jefferson didn’t write these words in a vaccuum, nor did he write them without implication, “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–...” I dare say, that so many of our problems stem from a failure to understand or accept what that statement means. That statement, some of the “truths” that Jefferson expounds upon that are “self-evident” start from a beginning point.
If you believe that evolution is true, that materialistic, matter-to-mind, scum-to-sapience-and-sentience is true, then the concept of natural law, that certain statements of morality are objective and absolute, is meaningless because they are only useful fictions to get your genes into the next generation and can be changed at any time to further that cause. Now, stop and think about that, I mean really, really think about that, and think about the latest cause celeb in our culture, you know the one: homosexuality. If homosexuality, and all of its claims are true then it is false, because it is committing a blatantly obvious falacious argument: begging the question. The question that it is begging, which should be obvious, is, “how will they get their genes into the next generation?” Don’t worry about that, is often the response I get, but when someone tell me “don`t worry” that’s when I worry because it is a sign that they obviously haven’t thought the proposition through.
However, if biblical creationism is true, and there is a lot of philosophical and scientific data that seems to support it, then everything that Jefferson wrote ever so poetically is true and feasible because it logically tennable. If something has a definite beginning, then it has a cause and a purpose. If it has a cause and a purpose, it has a destiny. If it has a destiny, then there is someone waiting on its arrival. It appears that we have arrived at the crossroads of culture and have to decide which way we will turn: follow feelings that change, or follow truth that endures.
This nation, the United States of America, born on the 4th of July of 1776, came about because of a purpose, and has a destiny. Maybe that destiny is to last only so long, but if those of us who can think, who can reason, who can articulate truths, fail to follow the trail established by those who came before us, fail to emphasize that liberty is a gift from the Creator that must be cared for, for if it is abused for the sake of “feelings” then what is the standard, where is the guideline? There is none.