July 4th celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, a brave document by those who wanted a free society governed by laws, not by a king. It was the birthday of the USA. In my opinion, this image from KTVB-TV news of a recent fire near Boise represents the status of our country today. We are surrounded by evil forces, from outside and within, that want to destroy our nation. But there is an enduring symbol of peace and love that serves as a guide out of the inferno. As written in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, “And now abides faith, hope, love, these three. But the greatest of these is love.”
When planning the first July 4th celebration, John Adams, one of the original signers of the Declaration, thought that Americans should celebrate a great anniversary festival. In a letter to his wife Abigail he wrote, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”
If the original signers of the Declaration of Independence made an appearance today, they would see the parades and bonfires, but ask about the lack of devotion to God. Freedom of and from religion can be as dangerous as illegal fireworks. I choose the God of love, not hate.