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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.I'm sorry I'm missing the "pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other" that ought to go with the celebration of this day, according to John Adams.
Christianity Today has an interesting piece on "The Faith of the Founding Fathers." And here's some thoughts from Catholic Exchange.
Oh, and here's a bit from Lexington, one of the wonderful columns in the Economist, on the Pursuit of Happiness.
The Founding Fathers were the first politicians to produce the explosive combination of individual rights and the pursuit of happiness. It remains equally remarkable today, still the best statement, 230 years after it was written, of what makes America American. The Book of Job gives warning that “man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Americans, for all their overt religiosity, have dedicated their civilisation to proving Job wrong.[snip]
The pursuit of happiness explains all sorts of peculiarities of American life: from the $700m that is spent on self-help books every year to the irritating dinner guests who will not stop looking at their BlackBerries. It also holds a clue to understanding American politics. Perhaps the biggest reason why the Republicans have proved so successful in recent years is that they have established a huge “happiness gap”. Some 45% of Republicans report being “very happy” compared with just 30% of Democrats. The Democrats may be right to give warning of global warming and other disasters. But are they right to give the impression that they relish all the misery? The people's party will never regain its momentum unless it learns to relate to the guy on the super-sized patio, happily grilling his hamburgers and displaying his American flag.Heh.
Happy Fourth y'all! :-)