Proclaim Liberty Throughot All the Land...
to all the Inhabitants Thereof." (Leviticus 25:10) That ringing declaration is inscribed on the rim of the Liberty Bell. It is a fundamental part of that ordered liberty that our great revolution was intended to bring about. We celebrate the Glorious Fourth every year. This is the two hundred thirty-fifth anniversary of American Independence.
I am especially grateful for the good and godly men who were willing to pledge their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" to the cause of Liberty. Benjamin Franklin is said to have responded to the appeal to the Delegates to that Second Continental Congress to "hang together" in putting their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. Yes, old Dr. Franklin said: "If we don't all hang together, we shall surely hang separately." As historian Pauline Maier rightly notes, signing that Declaration "was nothing less than a public confession of treason [against the British Crown]. Conviction for treason meant death and confiscation of estate." Talk about a death tax!
We might never have had the chance to celebrate this great day without the labors of Samuel Adams. He is my favorite Founding Father. It was Sam Adams and John Hancock, along with our colonial militia's weapons and ammunition, that the redcoats were pursuing that night in April 1775 when Paul Revere rode out from Boston "to carry the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm."
In Philadelphia, Sam Adams soon became the engine of Independence. He maneuvered inside and outside the hall of Congress. He enlisted speakers to speak when his own voice--hampered by a speech impediment--would not move listeners. "I always considered him as more than any other member the fountain of our important measures," wrote Thomas Jefferson of Sam Adams years later.
Sam's cousin, John, acknowledged that the elder Adams was "no Demosthenes" as a speaker, but "he had the art of commanding the learning, the oratory, the talents, the diamonds of the first order that his country afforded, without anybody's knowing or suspecting he had it."
Today, many of us who exercise our rights as Christian citizens, speaking in the public square, are accused of trying to impose our religion on others. Such a claim is ridiculous. What we are doing is upholding those self-evident truths that the Declaration proclaims. We defend the right to life--the inalienable right to life as endowed us by our Creator. We stand for marriage. It is Scriptural, to be sure. But marriage also is an integral part of those "laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to which those brave Signers appealed more than two centuries ago. We proclaim Liberty throughout the land. No small part of that liberty is the right of believers to speak out on matters of faith, family, and freedom.

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