Willie Nelson has been telling us for years that there always comes a time to “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.” For many the July 4th celebrations can continue for one or two more days because Independence Day fell on a Friday. For others, though, Saturday is just another work day. Whether you are part of that first group or the second, the festivities will come to a conclusion. Many will say—and I’ve even said in the past—that “the Fourth of July is over.” However, while the date on the calendar my change and the grill may be put out, Independence Day does not conclude until we allow it.
Independence Day, like many holidays such as Christmas, has been neutered of its real meaning, turned instead into a commercial enterprise dedicated to colorful decorations, retail purchases, and opportunities for gluttony and greed. The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and even the ideas of individual freedom and liberty are often trivialized as merely part of the party and celebration. As seen by President Obama’s Independence Day social media posts, fireworks and self-worship are more important than the basis, history, and meaning of freedom:
On #IndependenceDay, wave the stars and stripes with pride. pic.twitter.com/TQh5R1tqQu
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 4, 2014
A couple of days ago I wrote about the loss of freedom this nation has undergone over the centuries, and I reminded us all that there is hope. That hope is fragile, for it depends on our willingness to not let Independence Day be merely a date on a calendar.
We all should celebrate and have fun this time of year. Enjoy friends, family, and food—and especially Dr. Pepper, but I’m biased. As life begins to return to normal, find opportunities to rediscover our founding, our history, and our nation. This means tuning out and turning off the mainstream media and most of what you’ve heard in school, because they are not telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us, God. The media has an agenda and commercial slots to fill, and education often redacts, misinterprets, or blatantly rewrites history.
Those who want to rediscover history must turn to history itself, not to historians telling us about history. Open the Constitution and Declaration and read them yourself; read the Federalist Papers that help explain the philosophy and thoughts behind these documents. Read the works of the Founding Fathers, not just the memes you see on Twitter and Facebook. Furthermore, instill others with a desire and compulsion to rediscover America as it was formed, not America as it has been redefined.
As I write this I know that very few—a fraction of a percentage—will likely undertake this great task. We’re too busy sharing meaningless images, tweeting about that new iced coffee, and texting our friends that earth-shattering news about our weekend frolics. Even I am not free from the slavery to social media and cell phones in which most people find themselves. While we indulge in trivialities, many seek to extinguish our freedoms and truly let Independence Day come to an end. But we don’t have to let it be that way!
I challenge all those who read this to seek to rediscover America as it was truly formed and thus keep Independence Day going all year long. Only as we discover our nation can we restore liberty.