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July 4: It's Time to Call the Plumber
An Independence Day reflection
Several of the projects we’ve planned for our new house are unfinished.
Sure, there’s no hurry, but there’s also this: I don’t know how to do them.
I wanted to do it all myself. Many things are within my capabilities, but most of those have been completed. What remains are projects whose requirements, I fear, extend beyond my skill and experience.
But I am loathe to admit my limits and call a professional.
And that mental challenge made me think of our country on this celebration of independence.
What do we celebrate on the 4th of July?
Officially, the holiday is called Independence Day, but most people answer that question by talking about the birth of a nation.
It was the rejection of a nation and the adoption of a set of principles. A philosophy.
The colonies did not meet in congress to create a country. The colonies declared themselves independent countries—13 of them, like the headcount at the Last Supper. The nation part would not come about for another decade. At best, July 4, 1776, marked the birth of an alliance.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Notice that “united” is lower case, but “States of America” is title case. Notice, too, that, the Declaration asserts that each colony is a “Free and Independent State,” not an administrative district of a country.
The event we celebrate today, then, is properly an act of negation, not nationhood. We declared our independence from Great Britain, not our formation of a different tyranny.
It took 200 years for these “Free and Independent States” to submit, again, to tyranny, but the forces of evil have managed to render the ideals embodied in the Declaration moot. How many people today actually agree with the second paragraph of the Declaration? How many people under 40 would even be able to name the document that contained these words?:
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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, our country no longer believes that all men are created equal. You need to look no further than the disparate treatment of J6ers compared to George Floyd rioters.
And only 56% of American confess a belief in the God of the Torah and the Gospels according to Pew Research.
I would venture to guess that less than half belief governments only just power comes from the consent of the governed, and even fewer would be able to understand and articulate what that clause means.
Many Americans believe the unborn have no right to life.
Saying “liberty” out loud will get your name added to the FBI’s domestic terrorist list, the maintenance of which the FBI has outsourced to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Perhaps five percent of Americans believe the people have a right to alter or abolish governments that become destructive of these ends, and we, too, are on multiple government watch lists.
And I would conjecture less than 1 percent—far less—would agree that the people have a duty to abolish a tyrannical government that intends to “reduce them under absolute Despotism.” For, to agree with that statement and do nothing is to admit we are cowards and shirkers of our sacred responsibilities.
So, what exactly are we supposed to celebrate today?
Perhaps we celebrate, not ourselves nor the country we live in, but the awesome reality that we occupy a land that once produced such sturdy, responsible, and brave men as the 56 who signed a Declaration of Independence. Perhaps we celebrate our humility in recognizing that we are not of their stock, we weak and feeble men of the 21st century.
Perhaps our disposition today should be abject humility. Having survived the annual celebration of Satan and the root of all sin, pride, we should make July and its national feast all about repentance and surrender to God.
I write often about demonology because we cannot understand the present situation without understanding why God allows demons to work in this world. Suffice it to state here that the reason for demonic oppression, obsession, and possession is for the greater glory of God. We honor God and punish demons simply by resisting their influence. Resistance is, after all, and act of will, and resisting the demonic means we are trying to align our will with God’s.
But everyone knows that man is no match for a demon. Human powers are infinitely less than demonic powers. Therefore, if we manage to resist demons, we do so because God stepped in and limited the demons’ permissions. We did nothing more than allow God to work, like the homeowner who, having failed to fix a leaking pipe, humbly watches the plumber deftly restore the system’s integrity.
I love fireworks, but they have taken on a different meaning for me in recent years. As a child, the association between the 4th of July and fireworks was a remembrance of our violent and bold break from tyranny. Now, though, they become elaborate candles and incense lit to lift our prayers to the heavens for relief. They say, “God, we’ve boogered it all up. Will you fix it?”
Some will ask for something bolder, like the courage to fight back. I have prayed for such a rebellion, and I still do. But I have learned to always admit I might not know better than God. Yes, I would love to see millions of Americans rise up and reject the federal government and all its pomps and works—that is God’s holy will. If not—as much as it humiliates me to say it—I will take whatever He gives, as in St. Augustine’s petitions:
Let me die to myself and live in thee, And accept whatever happens as coming from thee.
As far as independence goes, having little faith in our generation’s willingness to take back what’s been lost, let us pray, humbly, for independence from the tyranny of comfort and the despotism of convenience and the pride of life. For these were the traps that led us into slavery to a culture that mutilates its young and mocks its creator.
Man cannot fix what we have allowed demons to break. It’s time to call the plumber.