Goodbye, Fourth of July

The Declaration of Independence is the greatest document ever written about government because it established the first form of government based upon “the laws of nature and nature’s God.”

The Declaration makes plain that the rights of man come not from other men, but from the mind of God. Said Jefferson, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Clearly, no God, no rights.

So governments are instituted to secure these rights. God and government are united, thus there can be no separation between God and government without placing our rights in jeopardy.

The laws of nature and nature’s God are the foundation of government, as they are the foundation of the public schools. The Founders state the purpose of the free public schools in Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance. It reads: The purpose of the free public schools is to teach “religion, morality as well as knowledge.” No state was admitted into the union without this plank in its state constitution. God, the state and the school were united. The purpose of the state is to secure these rights. The purpose of the free public school is to teach these rights. This we should celebrate on the Fourth of July.

Now that God has been removed from the functions of the state and the public schools, we no longer understand the “laws of nature and nature’s God” from which the concept of equality, justice and rights come. Now only the festival of the Fourth remains. It continues with pomp and parade, guns and games, bells and bonfires. No longer do we celebrate equality, justice and liberty with our hearts, our prayers or our devotion.

We have said goodbye to the real Fourth of July.

Lewis Rutherford


Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a letter that has appeared in previous years.