|On a hot July day 244 years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote the famous words that have inspired generations: “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.”
These rights are given by God, and it’s the role of the government to protect them. To live in a society that guarantees freedom for everyone, it’s important to balance law and order with the personal accountability that our freedom brings. This balance is fundamental to our society and country.
Throughout our history, America has fought many wars to ensure our independence and freedom. We should honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us to enjoy our freedoms, as well as those who have served our country.
Their sacrifices protect our freedoms, including the freedom of speech.
I was always taught growing up that just because you have the right or ability to do something doesn’t always mean it’s the right thing to do. That is why I will choose to stand proudly with my hand over my heart when I hear our country’s national anthem and will only bow on my knees in prayer to my Lord and Savior.
However, for all the freedoms we enjoy, that does not mean that our country or we as individuals are without flaws.
At a time when there is so much division in our country based on race, gender and political party, we need to put aside our differences and focus on what unites us instead of what divides us.
Matthew 12:25 tells us, “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.’” We as a nation need to take these words to heart and take caution.
How can we create value based on our uniqueness instead of drive division around our differences? How can we become peacemakers and problem solvers rather than finger pointers and Facebook warriors? What can we do to make a positive change in our state and country rather than continue the status quo? How can we leave our city, state, country and in a better position for the next generation than what we inherited?
President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote during his Presidential inauguration comes to mind which is when he said those historic words “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
To truly love your country means to recognize the blessings you enjoy by living here, while also looking for ways to improve it by serving others and making it even greater.
Our history books are filled with stories of citizens who fight for equality, justice and freedom for all. America was founded by a volunteer army of farmers, merchants and ordinary citizens who dreamed of self-governance and risked their lives for liberty.
Over 100 years ago, the women’s suffrage movement pushed for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. The protests of the 1960s ushered in the Civil Rights Act to ensure every citizen is able to vote without barriers.
The diversity in our country is a blessing. It’s what makes America so incredibly unique. Our differences are not a weakness—rather, we should embrace that diversity as one of our most prominent strengths.
America is one nation under God. We are all equal in his image. We must work together to ensure a better future for all Americans. Future generations are counting on us to protect American freedom, today and every day.
I hope you will consider some ways you as an individual can protect and improve upon the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. All of us are incredibly blessed to live in the greatest country in the world and this is something we should all be proud of and celebrate together this Fourth of July.
Happy Independence Day!
It’s an honor and privilege to serve House District 51 as your State Representative. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you may have.