A college that teaches classes on the Constitution is challenging individuals to celebrate Independence Day by conducting public readings of America’s birth certificate as they meet for local barbeques and other celebrations today.
President Calvin Coolidge, in a speech on the 150 year anniversary of the Declaration of Independence called it “the most important civil document in the world” and “one of the great charters that not only was to liberate America but was everywhere to enoble humanity.
Hillsdale College is promoting “Read the Declaration” this July 4th. In order to facilitate the reading, Hillsdale offered up free copies of the Declaration to those who signed up to read it.
In a statement about the event Hillsdale said, “This can be the largest-ever public reading of the Declaration in American history! We want hundreds of thousands, even millions, of Americans setting aside a few minutes to remember the legacy of liberty our Founders entrusted to us.”
The college said the reason it is encouraging the public reading this year is because the 2012 election is a pivotal one for America.
“At this crossroads moment in American history, we need millions to join with us this July 4… and help spark a nationwide conversation in time for this year’s elections.”
While many simply refer to the holiday as the 4th of July, the correct name is Independence Day and while the Constitution is the document governing how the nation is to be ran, the Declaration is considered to be America’s founding document, or as some have called it America’s birth certificate.
Those who wish to deny that Christianity played any part in America’s founding will often mention that the Constitution contains no references to God. However, the Declaration which is the founding document of America similar to a charter for a corporation is replete with such references.
The opening paragraph makes a reference to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” The following paragraph goes on to echo this theme, making it clear that rights do not come from government, but from God.
“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.”
Indeed, the document even goes on to end with an acknowledgement of God.
“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 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.”
Coolidge pointed out that the principles espoused in the Declaration were a direct result of the clergy of that day.
“No one can examine this record and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles the Declaration was the result of the religious teachings of the previous period. The profound philosophy which Jonathan Edwards applied to theology, the popular teaching of George Whitfield, had aroused the thought and stirred the people of the Colonies in preparation for this great event.”
He went on to say that the principles in the Declaration were not the product of “enlightenment” but were found in the pulpits of America.
“They are found in the texts, the sermons, and the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live. They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit.”
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