The Fourth of July is here again. People celebrate with barbecues, going to the shore, fireworks, parades, and family gatherings. But what are we celebrating? Do we take time to remember the meaning of the day? It is the day when America declared its independence, but it also serves as a reminder of a value we all treasure. Freedom. It is a term which at times requires a refresher course regarding its meaning. There are those who tend to forget that all Americans are granted a right to freedom.
Centuries ago, people braved the oceans to escape religious persecution. They wanted the right to worship and follow traditions as they believed. Why then does religion play such a part in our political elections and rulings? If everyone has the right to worship as they see fit, how can any religion determine the social and moral standards of living of people living in this country. As long as it abides by the law of the land, no group or individual should be told how to live their life.
The writers of our nation’s documents were wise to include the separation of church and state. It did not stop anyone from having their own beliefs, but it ensured that those beliefs would not influence our laws. Yet the campaigns of our candidates for public office have to tip toe around certain groups so as to not offend and lose their vote. This is another game of politics which many can see right through. Our leaders have to make clear their stance on issues and remember that they are representative of a nation, but any one group.
So on July 4th, remember the people from past generations who fought for freedom. They are the colonists, the suffragettes, the civil rights leaders, and the thousands of Americans who served and gave their lives defending our freedom. They are the people who continue to fight for equality. Remember that we enjoy the rights and way of life that others around the world aspire to. Every individual has the freedom to live a life that brings the greatest achievement of all. Happiness.