Independence Day

It seems like such a long time since the Great British crown had rule over the 13 North American colonies, and the growing hostility against the British colonial rule escalated into an eight year conflict, despite the ‘Declaration of Independence‘ being drafted by ‘Thomas Jefferson‘ in 1776, the fighting started in 1775 and didn’t resolve until 1783. Initially the small minority who desired independence was so few they were considered radical and a little odd, but as tensions grew, fighting escalated, France joined in supporting the colonists, and propaganda began to spread, more and more grew in favour of the break away from British rule. ‘Thomas Paine‘, who was a British born colonist, and an influential Deist, drafted up a pamphlet titled ‘Common Sense’ who’s intention was to put forward desirable arguments for the support of Independence, and is considered the key motivator for the American Revolution, as well as British Parliament forcing taxes upon them, when they had no representation there.

“Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first immigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.” – Thomas Paine

Powerful words, I’m sure you’ll agree, and it’s no wonder the colonists reflected upon what was written and quickly gathered in numbers to revolt. In the summer of 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies gathered at ‘Continental Congress in Philadelphia‘ to decide to dissolve any political connection between America and Great Britain, and this was the birth of the ‘United States of America‘. On July the 1st the agreement was voted 12/13 with New York not submitting a vote. Upon reading Jefferson’s draft, the voting changed with 9/13 with two voted no, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, Delaware undecided and New York remained uninvolved. Widespread mock funerals of ‘King George III‘ were celebrated throughout the summer to symbolise their revolt against a British rule, and what many colonists considers tyranny. It wasn’t until four days later, on the 8th July, that the declaration was read publicly at ‘Philadelphia’s Independence Square‘. It wasn’t until 94 years later that Congress signed a law stating that Independence Day would become a national holiday.

“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” – Thomas Jefferson Declaration of Independence 1776

What’s interesting is the wording, and how many Americans celebrate the Independence, despite not agreeing with, or respecting what’s written on the draft. America is far from considering equality a priority, and if every man is created equal, then every man is entitled to liberty and happiness, and that shouldn’t matter what your allegiances are with regarding religion, racial, political or sexual. It seems to me that the ‘Declaration of Independence’ was written by people who understood what liberty actually means, as liberty is about living freely without restrictions on your life. Also the draft refers to the creator as nature’s god, and anyone who’s familiar with the meaning of that knows that it refers to Deism, where the creator doesn’t influence, or have any involvement in its creation. Many Americans believe that their country was founded on the belief of the Christian god, but this is as uncertain as it can be, and it’s recognised that at the time of the Declaration, there was a big insurgence of Deism throughout the colonies. Deism accept that a creator made everything, but leaves nature to rule its course. This is known as natural law, and Deism came about in the ‘Age of Enlightenment‘ where the scientific theory was acknowledged. Thomas Jefferson was known to be quite a strict Deist, and opposed to the supernatural and regarded it as ridiculous, and there are claims that he cut out the supernatural parts of the Bible, which has been coined as the ‘Jefferson’s Bible’. So, by all accounts, the founding father’s didn’t create America with the Christian god in mind, but try telling them that, and see where it gets you.

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