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July 4, 2008

Independence Day Posting

On this holiday, I encourage us to recall what a tiny American town called Chatham boldy declared in December of 1772, that its people found their "civil and religious principles to be the sweetest and essential part of their lives, without which the remainder was scarcely worth preserving."

I hope that we may realize that it is still true today, and still be as bold to proclaim it. There are so many places in the world where people do not enjoy these civil and religious principles. There are places in the world where there is real religious persecution, sometimes to the point of death. In North Korea, a Christian can be sentenced to a concentration camp. Terrorists seek to murder Christians and fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, because of religious and political differences.

How sweet is our freedom here! What a wonderful freedom to be able to profess your religion in public, and not have to wonder if it will land you in jail! How awesome it is that we can actually choose our leaders, that they will actually listen to our voices! How inspiring it is that here political opponents engage in debate instead of gunbattles, and live side by side in peace instead of kidnapping children! What an opportunity, to be able to choose the place where we worship, and not have it chosen by draconian government or mobs of our neighbors!

If we did not have these civil and religious principles, what else would we have to preserve? Our comfort? What comfort could we have if faced with murderers who would kill us if we did not believe as they told us to? Our money? How long would that last if our government had the power to break us with taxes, and its functionaries were so wicked as to demand bribes? Our health? Would we have the talented people in medicine and technology, the clean and well-stocked hospitals, that we do today, if we were subject to the greed of an unchecked civil authority, or the endless bureaucracy of a state that declares that it knows best when, where, and how we should be treated for our infirmites?

I am grateful to those soldiers and leaders in our nation, who, like the people of Chatham, realize how dear our civil and religious principles are, and strive to preserve them for us and for our children. It is because of their courage that we still have these principles to enjoy, even in the face of bloodthirsty enemies who plot our enslavement to their wills.

Now shall I conclude with an exercise of these wonderful civil and religious principles: God bless the United States of America, and all the world, with freedom!

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