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July 4: How America won her freedom

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I have a book called 7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution by John Antal that has great leadership lessons but is told through the actions of those courageous founding fathers.

It was not by the actions of any one individual, but by God working through all of them that America won her freedom. While the “Committee of Five” was drafting the Declaration of Independence, God was using hundreds of men to bring about His purposes for her freedom. While Samuel Adams was using his passion and persuasive skills to fight for no taxation without representation, George Washington was leading a rag-tag band of militia dubbed the Continental Army. They would, of course, go on to hold off the most formidable fighting force in the world — the British army.

The document whose anniversary we celebrate was the fruit of the collaboration by very gifted, yet very different men. Benjamin Franklin, the elder statesman, persuaded the 56 delegates that they needed to work together, and though many called him the least religious of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin was among those who suggested the delegates call on God to guide their steps. 

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John Adams suggested that a committee be formed to write up grievances to be shared with the crown and explain the case for independence. It was Thomas Jefferson who was charged with creating the draft of the Declaration of Independence.

The value of freedom

The founding fathers were just people, like you and me, but their actions forged the first nation founded on the principle of liberty, where our rights come from God ... not from our government. Where “We the People” have the ultimate authority, if we will just claim it!

The liberties we still cherish today were bought at a price. We still have the liberties as defined in the Declaration and our Constitution because of those who sacrificed to preserve our freedoms and defeat tyranny. That freedom means I can go to church and talk about my God without fear. It means I get to choose what I do with today, rather than someone else choosing it for me. It means that at the end of the day, I get to sit down with my family and focus on enjoying their company rather than fearing my government. It means that in a few short months, I can cast a ballot that will impact my nation’s future.

Freedom is certainly something to be celebrated. While you are enjoying your backyard BBQ with friends and family, or watching an exhilarating fireworks display, reflect on the words of Ronald Reagan at his Memorial Day speech in 1986. “We must always remember,” he said, “that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. The words from his inaugural address as governor of California also ring in my ears, “Freedom is a fragile thing that is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Remember the power that your freedom gives you ... and the responsibility that comes with it. You have a say in who gets to lead “The Land of the Free.” And it is only through diligent citizens upholding their duty of voting that freedom will be retained.

Fight for your freedom

To the men who founded this nation and to those who fought to preserve it, I am forever grateful. Thanks to them, I do not have to take up arms and fight a ground war. But to honor them, I must continue to fight for my country and my freedom in the best way I know how. Through prayerful and educated voting, I will strive to persevere in the freedoms that I so dearly enjoy on this day.

I would like to encourage you to really take in and ponder all the privileges that come with freedom. Thank God for them and enjoy them! And then, use your voice and your vote to fight for freedom.

Debbie Wuthnow is the president of iVoterGuide and a member of the Board of Directors. She joined iVoterGuide in 2011 as a data analyst and was named president in 2018. iVoterGuide is a one-stop resource for candidate ratings and election information. In 2020, iVoterGuide’s expert researchers gave an in-depth analysis —and overall rating— from a Christian and conservative perspective for 8000+ candidates in more than 3,300 races nationwide. Additionally, iVoterGuide offers election dates, registration deadlines, polling locations, and other information needed to help Americans vote wisely and identify candidates on the ballot who share their values.

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