Monday, 4 July 2011

Happy 4th of July

United States of America

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. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. source

As an English man, I have been pondering a post for the 4th of July. It's not something we celebrate in the UK, for the simple reason that in order for the United States to have won a war of  Independence, someone had to have lost !
Once upon a time it was said that the Sun never set on the British Empire. Those days are gone and we could discuss their pros and cons for hours. In many ways the need to rule such a large Empire brought out the best, for example Victorian engineering survives today in the form of our rail network and GMT came into existence to harmonise an expanding and New World.. But on the other hand as the Deceleration of Independence goes on to say, there have been things in our Empirical rule, that are not wonderful.

Perhaps as a Mormon Brit, I have a different perspective than most of my countrymen for two reasons.
  • I have got to know a lot of US citizens so understand some of your culture a little better
  • I am grateful that America gained the religious freedom it did, which allowed the church I belong too the chance of flourishing. Something that could not have happened here in my own country.
So although the 4th of July will come and go, mostly without incident or mark here in the UK, I for one, wish all the best for my friends in the US of A and hope you continue to use your Independence and Freedom wisely. We can all learn lessons from failing to use such gifts from the pages of our collective histories.

Happy 4th of July !

2 comments:

Huntress said...

I have no words to equal yours or even come close.

What a great post. My heart to you.

Lisa said...

John, I love your sentiments. As a Mormon American I too am grateful for the religious freedoms we enjoy, and especially the freedom of speech, in which the BoM was able to be published. Thanks for a lovely post!!

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