Celebrating Our American Independence
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is easy for many of us to celebrate our American Independence with cookouts, fireworks, and well deserved family vacations, but I would ask on this day that we recognize how unique and radical the American Enlightenment was at the time Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence.
In her book Regeneration, author and futurist Rebecca Ryan reminds us that in Britain class in society was mostly determined by your birth. Individuals born into a land-owning class had more rights and privileges out of the gate than those who were not, and there was literally no way to work up the ladder in this society. In addition, with only one ruling church, the Church of England, different religious views were forbidden.
John Adams and our founding fathers saw religious intolerance and the lack of social and economic mobility as deeply unjust. They embraced the revolutionary idea that all people are equal at birth, a mind-blowing concept at the time, and one that ran completely counter to prevailing traditional government and religious power structures.
This central idea behind the American Revolution was indeed a disruptive innovation in democracy, and one for which thousands of people have been willing to die defend at home and around the world. As we celebrate our American Independence during this divisive and polarizing time in America, let us always remember that no matter where we came from, what our religious beliefs are, or what our economic status is, we must never forget that we are heirs to the most innovative, creative, experiment in democracy ever known to mankind.
God bless America, and may we forever be united as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Happy Independence Day to All!by