Sunday, July 4, 2010
Independence Day Reflection of Thomas Jefferson
On this day that we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from England, we should take time to reflect on the current events of this year, 2010, thus far.
Until this year, Thomas Jefferson was revered in American history textbooks as the Founding Father who wrote the Declaration of Independence. His document is the reason we celebrate the fourth of July as this country's Independence Day. This is a holiday to remind Americans about the history and significance of that document.
But earlier this year, religious conservative members of the "Texas Board of Education" decided to push for a revision of this history by downplaying Jefferson's influence in the founding of our nation because the notion of the "Separation of Church and State" has been traced to him. These religious rightists believe this country was founded as a Christian Nation and decided to make their point by revising American history in their public school text books. The effect of this kind of revision of American history would be to celebrate the founding of this country as a religious event rather than the secular event it is.
One does not have to be an American History Scholar to understand that the American Revolution was not fought as a religious war against anti-Christian forces or an Antichrist. It occurred as a reluctant solution to a struggle by colonists against an imperial British government. The leaders of the Revolution considered this rebellion a secular matter. Their goal was to establish the colonies as free and independent states concerned with matters of this world and the new land in which they existed, rather than establish a Christian nation.
As a matter of historical fact, America entered into the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797 which included in part the following statement: "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." I wonder if the "“Revisionist Asses within the Texas Board of Education” would consider inserting this item in their textbooks? Of course not because they don't want to deal in facts!
The drafting of this treaty began during George Washington's presidency. The final draft was read in full in the Senate where it was approved unanimously and then signed by Washington's successor, President John Adams.
Jefferson made history with the help of John Adams and Ben Franklin in writing the Declaration of Independence to abolish British colonial rule. This political theory is at the heart of the document we celebrate today, namely, that individuals "are created equal" with rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" to be secured by a government empowered by the consent of the governed. I might also add from my Masonic background which many of our Founding Fathers were members also is, "Freedom From Ignorance."
Jefferson later explained that his purpose with this document was to firmly and plainly state self-evident, common sense principles with which sensible people would agree and which would justify the colonist's independence.
These rights expressed by Jefferson became an important part of the Constitution through the first 10 amendments (the Bill of Rights) and the 14th Amendment. His memorable words have become immortal and the SHAME is on the "Texas Board of Education" and those who agree with them for trying to downplay Thomas Jefferson and his document as important parts of American history.
Now for those whom believe in Divine Providence, isn’t it ironic that “The State of Texas” did not have the funds to purchase these "Bastardized History Books" assembled by those who blatantly disregarded "Historical Fact" to push their fabricated viewpoints onto others.
Maybe there truly is Justice For All!!!