July 4 and we turn the badger loose, whoop and holler, shoot the anvil and fire the rockets.
Because 243 years ago 56 white men, 26 to 70 years of age, gathered in a stifling hot room, not much bigger than a two car garage, in;
♫Foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia!♫
and signed the document that declared that we were no longer the property of Great Britain, subject to their whims, but masters of our own fate.
Do you care?
Should you care?
Frankly, I’m far more concerned about what happened last year, or, what will happen next year than what happened 243 years ago.
But, you and I and our children should care and care deeply.
I’ll tell you.
Sit down, pay attention, it might take a minute or two.
Did you ever go to one of those amusement parks where they have a Go-Kart track? Go-Karts with rubber bumpers all around and a roll bar and a governor on the engine, running around a twisting track that has old tires hung on the fence anywhere a driver has the remotest chance of bouncing the machine off the wall?
The Declaration of Independence, and the subsequent Constitution, written by pretty much the same men, are like that track in a way.
You can steer the Go-Kart yourself, at whatever speed you choose, but you can’t, even accidentally, force it off the track or make it go faster than the governor is set to allow.
Now hold that thought and consider this question;
What do you think of Trump, Hillary, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan?
Were you convinced ______(pick one) was sure to lead us to wreck and ruin, destroy the nation?
If they didn’t it was because of the genius of those 56 men in that stifling room in Philadelphia 243 years ago.
They wrote the words, established the Ideal against which everyone who came after them would be measured, by which all of our actions as a nation would be judged.
All who hold office are limited by that standard, measured by how well they keep faith with those words.
And if they try to push the power they hold beyond the limits set by those words written many years ago, if they try to drive the nation beyond the bounds established by those men in that small little room, they are brought back into line only by those documents and our fidelity to them.
So, tomorrow, on the Fourth, turn the badger loose, whoop and holler, shoot the anvil and fire the rockets.
We are free, by the grace of God and the resilience of our fathers vision and their children’s faithfulness to that dream.