The Current Battle for America’s Soul began with the Declaration of Independence

The Current Battle for America’s Soul began with the Declaration of Independence

By Dennis JamisonJuly 2, 2020

In July of 2016, I posted an article entitled: “Reflecting on three battles sparked by the Declaration of Independence.” It was in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign, and Americans had just celebrated their fun Fourth of July festivities. In that year, it seemed important that citizens realize the coming battle that is currently unfolding since that time, and rapidly accelerating since the outcome of that pivotal election. That year, as in this year, many potential voters recognized that it was a critical, pivotal election. It was in 2016, and it is in 2020.

Since Independence Day of 2016, many citizens have begun to realize that we are in a battle for America’s soul—it is most definitely not just another election year. It is definite that America’s future in the 21st century will be decided in this election, or the one after, but these three national elections represent a pivot point for America. In this light, concerns gravitate toward the nation’s future. But, despite what anarchists and Marxists want to dismiss about the past (perhaps all of it) the future of America needs to be envisioned in light of the past—specifically the words embedded in the Declaration of Independence.

Since Independence Day of 2016, it has become more and more apparent to citizens paying attention to current events, America is battling some ghosts from the past—specifically with regard to the ideals within the Declaration of Independence. This declaration was a proclamation to the people of the world, at that time, of the ideals that the people of this nation intended to live by. Indeed, ideals in the Declaration served as a powerful statement to the rest of the world why freedom itself was essential—“to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the
laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them…”

The laws of nature and of nature’s God entitled brave men, and the women who stood beside them, a national presence or power among others in the community of nations.  It was an appeal to the concept of self-government and freedom from tyrants. And certainly, the consequences of the Declaration’s call to action altered the course of human history. By that time in history, the world had never witnessed a revolution of common colonists fighting to create a nation of freedom. They were taking a stand to sacrifice themselves for a much greater good. In the Declaration, Founders pledged “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” for the cause for freedom.

The words of the Declaration of Independence summoned all people of conscience to fight for the noble ideals linked to freedom. Yet many today confuse the conception with accomplishment. While the fundamental ideals inscribed in the Declaration had existed since ancient times, by Thomas Jefferson’s time, the Declaration of Independence was more than any philosophical treatise. It was definitely a declaration of intent to separate from Great Britain. But, Jefferson had skillfully woven into the core of the Declaration a manifesto for the freedom of all people, aligning with what Thomas Paine had claimed in “Common Sense”: that the cause of America was the cause of the world!

Beyond mere belief in previously postulated ideas, the Declaration of Independence created an intellectual or philosophical framework of ideals that sparked and sustained the colonists’ fight for freedom and the ideological framework for a nation based upon God-given rights. The Leviathan-like British Empire refused to yield such freedom,  and it was to take took many years of sacrifice and suffering before genuine independence was achieved through the Paris Peace Treaty on Sept. 3, 1783, which is the real birthday of the U.S.A. July 4, the day from 1776 that Americans celebrate as the birthday of the nation, was simply the date of the formal conception of the Land of the Free.

Yet from the beginning, the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence were such noble ideals that they were beyond the reach of most people, not only in the last quarter of the 18th century, but throughout America’s history. It is the manifesto for the freedom of all people in the Declaration that stimulated the internal battles to truly attain those ideals over time. Three great confrontations over the ideals took place in the United States, and
the first was the horrendous political and military strife of the Civil War. The second great confrontation over the ideals in the Declaration of Independence occurred through the political and social unrest of the Civil Rights Movement.

In the middle of the 19th century, foundational U.S. ideals were nearly destroyed through the politically divisive and horribly destructive American Civil War. It almost ended the dream of carrying forward those ideals into the 20th century. This first confrontation over America’s soul was centered upon the single concept of whether “‘all’ men are created equal,” or whether it was a lie. Leaders in the South, who ultimately tried to destroy the U.S. Constitution in this first battle, had been informed by forefathers that Thomas Jefferson had not meant “all” men when they had signed the Declaration – he only meant “all free men.” Thus, a lie was forged to deny the self-evident truths.

It took an incredibly strong and stubborn president to reaffirm and hold onto the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.

In the middle of the 20th century the second great confrontation over the ideals in the Declaration erupted through political and social unrest of the Civil Rights Movement. This struggle was centered upon the single concept of what “equal” truly represented within the specific ideal that all were “created equal.” After slavery had been abolished in the U.S. by the 13th Amendment, one tangible result of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the residue of resentment and hatred festered in Democrat-controlled governments of the South. They legalized racism through the restriction and overt prevention of citizens’ freedoms and civil liberties.

The Civil Rights Movement arose as the response, and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. arose as the central personage of the struggle. It took incredible internal strength and patience of a man of God to stand up for the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.

The third great confrontation over the ideals in the Declaration of independence is raging now. At the beginning of the 21st century, the struggle is over the concept of all people being endowed by God with unalienable rights: life, liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness. This struggle Is increasingly clear through serious attacks upon people of faith—not only by violent thugs, but by Democrat leaders in government. Denial of the existence of God through atheism permits denial of the truth that citizen’s rights originate from God. Atheism is a God-denying precept at the heart of Socialist and Communist ideology.

Today our Republic and the foundational ideals are being challenged by foreign enemies via Communism and from domestic enemies via Socialism – essentially the same threat coming from different realms. If America is to survive into the 21st century, citizens need to support the champion of this third major battle: President Donald J. Trump. Citizens who love America need to reaffirm adherence to the ideals at the heart of the Declaration of Independence. Citizens who love America need to declare personal independence from tyrants who love power but not our nation.

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