When a news program shows anti-Americans burning the United States flag, my blood boils. But, when I witness a worn flag being retired – respectfully done by burning – my right hand automatically reaches up to cover my heart. Independence Day is really an attitude.
We have all heard that America is not perfect, but it is the best possible place to live. We have also heard, “If you don’t like it, leave.” Immigration is an ever-growing phenomenon, yet a citizen leaving the United States is almost unheard of.
Fourth of July fireworks are the brilliant and loud celebration of living in a country whose citizens know that right still exists. That “right” is not the right to do whatever one pleases – those rights are actually privileges which most Americans take for granted. We have only one real right, the right to choose what is right and wrong. Voters choose what is right through our elected representatives and ballot initiatives. England once tried to determine the Colonies’ rights and wrongs, particularly with the unrepresented tax on tea. There is nothing wrong with tea. There is nothing wrong with taxes. (I don’t believe I just said that.) There is nothing wrong with America officially using the English language. My grandfather came here from Germany and my family has always spoken English. There is something wrong with outsiders and extreme political minorities determining our rights and wrongs. Our Declaration of Independence made that clear.
We have a right to freedom of speech, but it is wrong to needlessly yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Voters have made prostitution illegal in South Dakota, so proof of paid-for sex should not be legally marketed in South Dakota. Pornography is not freedom of speech; it is wrong.
In ratifying the South Dakota law that abortions-as-contraceptives are wrong, all out-of-state opinions and political money should be made to stay out-of-state. A woman can say that her body is hers, but a man who creates life must honor that life, and so must the woman. I will support the widow, the orphan and the adopted, but never the abortionist or the father who washes his hands of his children.
I know that it is right to give absolute allegiance to God, and still salute the United States flag. It is right to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God what is God’s.
Marriage between a man and a woman is right.
Some of our choices of right and wrong are very hard. My son felt right to join the United States Army. I honor his choice; it would be wrong for me not to. I will always love and will always miss him.
Our independence allows us the right to complain. But we earn that right through voting and determining what is right. Independence Day is an attitude on what is right. I choose to celebrate it with loud and raucous joy, and also with reverence.