Monday, June 29, 2009

4th of July

It was a beautiful 4th of July on the Dakota prairie. Laura, Carrie and Pa had gone into town for the 4th of July celebration. It wasn't anything fancy; the town was too new for that. But there were firecrackers, horse races and lemonade! Before the horse races began, the crowd gathered to hear the Declaration of Independence read.

Laura and Carrie knew the Declaration by heart, of course, but it gave them a solemn, glorious feeling to hear the words. They took hold of hands and stood listening in the solemn, listening crowd. The Stars and Stripes were fluttering bright against the thin, clear blue overhead, and their minds were saying the words before their ears heard them.
From Little Town on the Prairie in the chapter entitled Fourth of July

After the Declaration was read completely through...
No one cheered. It was more like a moment to say, "Amen." But no one knew quite what to do. Then Pa began to sing. All at once, everyone was singing,

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing...
Long may our land be bring,
With Freedom's holy light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

The crowd was scattering away then, but Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought. The Declaration and the song came together in her mind and she thought: God is America's king.

She thought: Americans won't obey any king on earth. Americans are free. That means they have to obey their own conscienceses. No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself. Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn't anyone else who has a right to give me orders. I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought. This is what it means to be free. It means, you have to be good. "Our Father's God, author of Liberty-" The laws of Nature and Nature's God endow you with a right to life and liberty. Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God's law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.
Taken from Little Town on the Prairie in the chapter entitled Fourth of July

This all took place just under 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was written. There was no argument at the time about whether America was a Christian nation. Of course it was! Even a teenage girl living on the wild prairie knew that. She knew the Declaration of Independence by heart, and she knew the Bible. She easily surmised that God is America's king, and that with the right to be free comes the responsibility to be good. It sounds so simple, but it is what generation after generation of Americans just knew.

There was a similar thought in 1773 among the Colonists:
"...most Crown-appointed governors remained submitted to their king, and one wrote to the Board of Trade in England: "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ." Which may have given rise to the cry which soon passed up and down the length of America by the Committees of Correspondence: "No king but King Jesus!"
Taken from The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel in the chapter entitled No King But King

This is interesting on so many levels, but I will just add this: Americans are free. No one tells us what to do. We (meaning the Founding Fathers) decided that we needed laws to a certain extent to keep the peace and have structure. But beyond that, we are our own bosses.
Keep that in mind every time a bill goes through Congress that would threaten your freedom. Does it match up with the original intent of the Constitution? Does it guarantee your liberty? If not, then it is un-American.


  1. Good stuff! I remember reading those chapters in Little House and in the Light and the Glory and getting chills.We are doing a terrible injustice to our children when we don't teach them about our constitution and teach them the Bible. Too many children not only do not have portions of the Bible and our important documents of freedom memorized but too many haven't even read much of it. That is a shame. Kari Davidson

  2. I pray for the day when once again, when America is asked who her master is, the people will reply "Only Jesus Christ."
    I like your blog, Nicki!