On July Fourth, what exactly were we celebrating?

I had a difficult time on Sunday finding reasons to celebrate Independence Day.  What did we celebrate?  Did we celebrate our independence from England?  It's true that England no longer governs this land, but Independence Day was once about something more than that to me.

Independence Day was about freedom in general.  Not from any particular monarch or government, but from tyranny and oppression.  It was about living in a country that valued its citizens' rights and freedom over anything else.  If you haven't been paying attention, there's not much of that happening in the United States today.

What is freedom?  The dictionary says it's the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.  There are some folks who were thrown in jail because they attended a rally on January 6 who will tell you we don't have that particular definition of freedom here anymore.  That definition must have come from an old dictionary.  Our government must use "woke" dictionaries now.

Our good government has granted itself so much power that it can imprison any natural citizen of the United States indefinitely without due process and without explanation in the name of national security against domestic terrorism.  Would any one of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence approve of a government with that kind of power?

I don't require a DeLorean with a flux capacitor to confirm with them, in person, my certainty that none of them would approve of a government with that kind of power.  If none of them would approve of the power that our government has accumulated, then what exactly did we celebrate on the 4th of July?

The Declaration of Independence was written to oppose and reject a government much like our own current federal government!  Let's not forget that.

From what I know of Thomas Jefferson, the man who authored the Declaration of Independence, I would wager my life to say that not only would he disapprove of our current government, but he would also insist on dissolving it using any means necessary.  He was extremely clear about that much.

I am not advocating war, but I do insist that we stop deluding ourselves in pretending we still have the freedom that was once given to us by those 56 men who mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.  In case it went unnoticed, we don't even have the freedom to choose our own president anymore.

I didn't feel as though I celebrated the birth of our nation yesterday.  I felt as though I attended its funeral.

Image: Tattered American flag by Gerd Altmann.  Pixabay license.

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