July 1, 2023

July 4th Letter

As we celebrate America's 247th birthday on July 4 th , it is crucial to reflect on the incredible
blessing that comes with being Americans. God has truly “shed His grace” on our nation. It can
become too easy to dwell on the many controversial areas of disagreement – and the things we
see that are wrong in our culture – and allow it to dominate how we feel about this great nation
and our lives overall. Independence Day ought to be, for us all, a celebration of the genius of our
founding, where men signed their own death warrant when they signed the Declaration of
Independence in that humid and steamy hall in Philadelphia in 1776.

They did so because they wanted a country founded on the principles of true individual freedom
– freedom of speech and religion, freedom of self-defense and rejection of the idea of a divine
monarchy that was the dominant form of government in the rest of the known world at that time.

Later, when our Founding Fathers drafted the U.S Constitution they enshrined these and other
rights in the document, not because they were granting them to us, but because the Constitution
lays out the already inherent, God-given rights that are to be protected from the new government.
It can not be understated how truly revolutionary this was for the time. There has been much
controversy in recent years about how we teach history. Of course our nation should
acknowledge its historical mistakes, errors and wrongs – and we have in ways both small and
large. However, what is often missing in today’s 140 character social media climate is the
context that the principles of America’s founding – unique at the time in the history of the world
– is what helped revealed these wrong things and enabled them to be changed.

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution – drafted by brilliant, well-
intentioned but also imperfect people called attention to the fundamental right of every human
being for freedom and self-determination. While we fell short of this standard at the beginning,
these “self-evident” truths that all men are created equal paved the way for corrective actions and
progress that continues to this day. This is something that all of us – no matter our political party
or ideology can celebrate and be thankful for. It’s also important to not despair when we see
division, but instead look at it as a part of the freedom we enjoy and an opportunity to reason
together to find the right way forward.

I consider it a great honor and also responsibility to serve as an elected official, in my case in the
State Senate and no matter what the challenges we have in our country, I am so thankful for the
freedom that we all share – safe-guarded by the blood and sweat of our men and women in
military service, law enforcement and fire/EMS.

Focusing on the blessings we have as Americans and the amazing impact our nation and its
people have had since 1776 is a big priority for me during this Independence Day. I hope
everyone has a safe and wonderful celebration on July 4 th with your family and friends.

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