The 4th of July and the Existence of God
Why do we prize freedom?
In part, because we are aware of the alternatives. In dictatorships, entire nations are expected to serve the whims of self-absorbed leaders. Under the oppression of slavery, humans are exploited for their masters’ purposes and discarded when they are no longer needed.
The American Revolution was sparked by English tyranny and over-taxation. Once the “shot heard around the world” was fired, there was no turning back.
We prize freedom because it provides the opportunity for self-determination. When we are enslaved, our free will is reduced to a choice of obedience or disobedience. But when we are truly free, we can blaze our own trails and create our own expectations. We may voluntarily submit to a higher authority, but only if we choose. In choosing, we also accept the blessings or consequences associated with our choices.
What does this have to do with God?
Without God self-determination makes no sense. If God does not exist, then we have no “unalienable rights”. There can be no such thing as “life” (qualitatively speaking), “liberty” and the “pursuit of happiness.”
One might say, “Nonsense! I am free to say there is no God, and I can proclaim liberty from the notion of obedience to a Creator who directs morality.”
One can say such things. But on what basis? How can any of us embrace liberty as a good thing, if indeed there is no basis for good things? The best we can say, without God, is that we are pursuing a life that provides a perception of personal happiness. Our definition of happiness must be based entirely on emotion, and we can never really be sure if we are happy, or if we have merely been led to believe we are happy by those who are using us for their purposes.
Oh, yes. I forgot to mention this often-overlooked reality. A sense of freedom without God puts us at the mercy of other people’s agendas. We have nowhere to turn for a moral compass or an eternal purpose that transcends our human experience. Those who put their faith in God rise above the world. Those who reject Him become pawns to the ones who are capable of exerting the strongest influence over their lives.
Why do you think dictators begin their consolidation of power by destroying faith-based communities? They know the hardest people in the world to control are those who put their faith in God. Those with a strong understanding of unalienable rights?
Some people use the 4th of July to honor “God and Country”. This is a good thing, as long as we don’t put our country above God.
May I suggest we also see this day of celebration as proof positive of the existence of God. What could possibly motivate millions of people to dress in red, white and blue and declare their freedom, if they didn’t believe in its moral value?
Our hunger for freedom is a sign of our belief in God.
Without Him, there isn’t much to celebrate. Man does not life by fireworks alone.