The intentions of our founders
Every year our nation comes together to celebrate our independence and reflect on what it means to be Americans. We celebrate this honor with grand parades and patriotic speeches and remember our founding fathers for their courage, foresight, and wisdom in the creation of a proud nation.
We are a different country since our last celebration. Today we stand together as citizens of the United States with an enhanced appreciation of our sacrifices, morals, values, and cultural diversity. A result of these times is a resurgence of patriotic fervor and we are proud to display our symbols of freedom. Homes and buildings are adorned with flags, the national anthem is sung with pride, and the pledge is stated with meaning and conviction. With renewed purpose and conviction we are proud to call ourselves “Americans.”
Like many people, I was stunned last week when a court of this land ruled that “One Nation, Under God,” when included in our most valued oath, is unconstitutional. An immediate uproar encased this nation and while members of Congress voted on a resolution to condemn the ruling, I began to wonder if these judges had forgotten our founders’ intentions when creating this nation.
One of our founders’ aims was to allow freedom from religious persecution and to not condemn individuals for their beliefs or religions. But to ensure commitment and loyal service to our fellow citizens and nation, oaths were created to remind each one of us that we are responsible to a higher calling.
The word “God” is used in the swearing in of elected leaders, used in our courts to ensure honest testimony, and was included by President Eisenhower to reaffirm a commitment to our country. Making an oath “Under God” was not created to diminish or enshrine any individual religion, it was meant to bring all faiths together as one. It was meant to confirm that our faiths would spiritually guide us through history and ensure commitment to integrity, not to divide us on the very principles that incorporated our conception.
As was our response to the attacks on our homeland, I was proud to see a determined front stand against an injustice on its people. We have once again held our ground and confirmed that our beliefs and ideals will be protected at all costs, no matter what the sacrifice.
So let’s celebrate this Fourth of July by paying tribute to our founding fathers’ intentions and remember those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of our ideals. Their sacrifice and commitment has allowed us to live in “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.”
U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction, is a Glenwood Springs native.
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