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ON THE MEANING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
It was a bold move that the framers of the Declaration chose to make. But they were convinced that it was the sole choice that remained for them. Thomas Jefferson was appointed to draft the document, and it was his task to express the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people after many years of frustration and oppression.
Because they believed that the British Crown had no right to tax them so brutally, the "self-evident truths" of which Jefferson spoke were born out of the religious views of the Founding Fathers -- that God is the giver of our human rights, not a king, and that it is His intent that His people enjoy those rights, including the right to self-government and taxation as well as religious freedom. In signing the Declaration of Independence, they were genuinely putting their lives at stake, for any of them could have been captured and tried for treason. But this did not hold them back from declaring their allegiance to this just cause. John Hancock is said to have signed his name in such large letters that the King could read it without his spectacles. Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island is said to have guided his right hand with his left, due to a nerve disorder. His words as he signed: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
OUR NATION'S GODLY HERITAGE Many Americans aren't aware of the amazing fact that two of our most prominent Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, fifty years after the original Declaration of Independence. The contributions each man made to the quest for independence and the shaping of the new nation have been well documented. But many still question the Christian faith of the Founding Fathers and the impact of their faith on the world in which they lived. Consider this excerpt from the obituary of President John Adams in which the writer credits God for the vision, talents and passion of John Adams: "Had he been permitted by the Being to whom he owed his existence, who endowed him with great talents, and kept him in that course of irreproachable virtue and honor which has rendered his memory immortal, to select the time when his disembodied spirit should take its flight, he would probably have chosen the very moment when a whole nation were employed in celebrating the glorious result of patriotism, when his name, and those of his compatriots, was upon the lips of ten millions of people, and the voice of gratitude and joy was resounding throughout the whole of the American Republic.
Adams' final words were reported to be, "It is a great and glorious day."
Basic Flying Rules:
1. Try to stay in the middle of the air.
2. Do not go near the edges of it.
3. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there.