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  • Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County
  • Uebelhor
July 04, 2012
The Fourth of July has come around again, the anniversary of our nation's independence. The streets are decorated with flags, families have stocked up on hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, potato salad and Mountain Dew for cookouts, and tonight the skies will sparkle with thousands of exploding lights. It's a time of celebration, remembering, food and stuffed stomachs. The heritage of the United States.

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By Lissie Massengale
What are we celebrating?

This nation was founded on principles from the Bible; our Constitution was written by godly men. George Washington once said, "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible." With the burden of being our first president, he strove to set the bar as high as possible, staying true to the principles of the government he fought to create, as well as to his own faith. In those days, to proclaim to be affiliated with God was a mark of high standing. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were won by and endeavored for side by side with the Bible.

Times have changed. Churches are hardly where they were, much less where they should be. Whether or not God is right, or if He even exists, is questioned and denied continually, as if it was all a big mistake. With the moral boundaries set by the Bible slowly disappearing into the labyrinths of subjectivity and perception, the line between right and wrong is steadily fading.

"God has changed," say those who want the easy way out. Even the Creator of the universe can be outdated, like exchanging some old computer no one wants to use anymore for a faster, smarter belief system more convenient for us.

Where are the parents in the lives of their children? What is taught, observed and implemented behind closed classroom doors? Teenagers grow to adulthood with the idea that their outside body will define who they become, that love is just a passing fancy, that an infant's life can be recycled. Pastors are displaying homosexuality proudly from behind the pulpit, judging those in opposition to be the real condemned ones. While the leaders of our country squabble over which political party will get what say in which law, the economy is falling apart.

A person needs to just be him or herself, and he or she can be content. "Live for yourself" is now the motto of modern-day society. If you believe there is a god, or two or 20, you should be free to believe in all you want, though it is preferred that you not believe in any.

But what does this constitute? The ever-present hope that through some form of education you will obtain enough money to live contentedly for the rest of your life? That you will somehow attract the "one" for you, who you might end up cheating on and/or divorcing anyway? That you can enjoy the process of getting pregnant without the additional baggage of actually having a kid? That you will make a difference in a world where too many differences have already been made for too many different people? To have a good time and enjoy life while it lasts, because you only live once? That you will amount to something someday, only to be remembered by a shiny grave marker and a receipt for your loved ones for your funeral expenses?

In his farewell address, Washington said, "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Let us with caution indulge the idea that this new version of ethics can hold our nation together for much longer. Let us with caution allow the value of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness be infected with the greed of our hearts. Let us with caution celebrate the America of today, for we may not be able to celebrate the America of tomorrow.

Happy Independence Day, America!

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