Why I’ll Celebrate The Fourth Of July Differently This Year

Why I’ll Celebrate The Fourth Of July Differently This Year

At some point, the Fourth of July must return to being a day we remember why Americans believe in self-evident truths and self-government.
Luma Simms
By

“In America, the streets are paved with gold. You can buy any fruit you want any time of the year without standing in line. You can be anything you want to be.” These were things my parents told me to lull me back into submission whenever I had reservations about coming to America. Even after we came, if I complained about living here, the response was: “Would you rather be back in Iraq where your dad would be forced to go to war, possibly get killed? Would you rather not have school options?”

The land of justice. The land where Christians don’t get hurt. The promised land. A land flowing with… everything supersize.

After the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, I’ve been ruminating over my naturalized home and wondering if there’s a way to give my children a better life, the way my parents assumed that coming to America would give me a better life. The morality of Obergefell is one issue. But beneath all that, what has deeply concerned me is the stark lawlessness of it all.

I learned to love this country after we immigrated here. I would get goosebumps and cry every time the “Star Spangled Banner” played. Eventually, I grew up and volunteered for the Republican Party. I joined a Republican Women’s club. I was part of the Federalist Society. I even went to law school for a while, intending to help return our constitutional jurisprudence to the original intent of America’s founders, using the natural-law philosophy our Founding Fathers were steeped in.

Either Some Truths Are Self-Evident or Not

The fourth of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was never just an excuse for a backyard barbecue for me. It was a day I observed with deep gratitude and a certain amount of solemnity. It was a celebration of what our predecessors in this land had done, the course they had set us on and the paths they had opened for us.

The Declaration of Independence says some truths are self-evident. Five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court say that we make up our own truths.

Five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court say that we are not created, that we create ourselves and our own identity.

The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal. Five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court say that we are not created, that we create ourselves and our own identity, and that the dignity which belongs to all people, gay or straight, is not the dignity we have by virtue of being made in the image and likeness of God, is not given to us at creation by God, but can only be the dignity we give ourselves through our own construction of the institution of marriage.

The Declaration of Independence says we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court overlook the real and true rights human beings possess and say that man gives man rights—worse, that they as the high court of this country are the ones which posit what is a right and what is not, as their reality changes faster than any written law they might be called upon to interpret.

The Declaration of Independence says that among the rights our Creator God gives us are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Five justices of the Supreme Court of these United States have said and continue to say that life is not a universal right. That women can end the life of a child in their wombs. They have upheld and continue to hold to decisions that undermine the life of the weak, the poor, and the outcast. They say: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life,” yet they deny those being killed the right to even suggest they might have a concept of existence that includes themselves. In short, these five reduce the “pursuit of Happiness” to access to sex without boundaries.

The Justices Versus Universal Justice

The Declaration of Independence says government derives just power from the consent of the governed. Five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have trod upon the people’s voice and have usurped power for themselves.

This makes my celebration this year more a focus on the inspired spirit of man that would stand and recite to the world that the people could suffer these injustices no longer.

So, as I read the Declaration this year, I boldly affirm its words. There has indeed been “a long train of abuses and usurpations” by this court. They have undermined and invalidated the legal and ethical foundations our Founders went to war to win for us, their posterity. And this makes my celebration this year more a focus on the inspired spirit of man that would stand and recite to the world not only the litany of injustices that its “leaders” exercise upon the people daily, but the logical conclusion of these injustices: that the people could suffer them no longer.

I celebrate the stand taken by the Continental Congress in their abused and neglected state, and I pray for a new unity of vision and purpose among the people, to tell the world of these distortions of law and liberty and to have the courage to say, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Luma Simms is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She writes on culture, family, philosophy, politics, religion, and the life and thought of immigrants. Her work has appeared at First Things Magazine, Public Discourse, The Federalist, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter: @lumasimmsEPPC.

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