234 years ago, a core of American citizens—just like you and me—pledged their lives and their fortunes to break free of the bondage of taxes, regulation and the tyrant known as King George.
They signed their name on the dotted line knowing full well it was no exercise in penmanship, but a commitment to establish freedom once for all in their land.
They won their freedom—ours too—and for generations, Americans have worked hard, worshipped freely, developed the natural resources of this beautiful land, explored the boundaries of space, engineered, designed and created things fantastic and beyond imagination in science, medicine, technology. We’ve invented cars and computers and technologies … fantastic devices … developed organizational skills and structure. Based on the perfect blending of law and freedom, Americans have felt free to pursue their gifts, their dreams and have lived and died by their own ingenuity.
Religious freedom has flourished because America’s religious foundation—Christianity—is by its nature a faith exercised in free will … not born of birth or obligation but of choice. It was with this foundation that early on Jews and later members of all world religions found a place of sanctuary and not punishment for their unique religious conscience. Freedom is the foundation of strong religious faith and the foundation for strong economic growth and the foundation for the release of human ingenuity and energy.
And America has not used her strength only on herself. She has welcomed the world’s people, yearning to be free. She has used her prosperity and the strength of her character applied to military might to protect and defend nations all over the world, not as conquerors but as warriors handing out chocolates to little children…offering hope and peace….building up where we have made war. Making friends and allies of our enemies…sending unbelievable amounts of money and human treasure to aid in tragedies, build hospitals, feed the hungry, fight the diseased. There has never been a country like America … never.
A few years ago I was speaking on the grounds of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, when an attendee amazed me with his remark. “If America falls, where else will the world turn? Who else will take its place as a beacon of hope and life and freedom?”