The Birth of Democracy in America.
The right to live freely and to remain in charge of one's own destiny is not something that has been part of human consciousness forever, but rather something that has accompanied the development of self-awareness over time. This development has produced a conviction that there is a need for creative freedom living within each and every human being, a need to become all that one is in potential.
The awareness of the intrinsic freedom to define one's own existence has been a progressive development, replacing the consciousness of those in times past who felt governed by the rules of society, the rules of family, and the requirements of honor that needed to be paid to one's physical and spiritual ancestors. Indeed, the quest for individual freedom has become more ardent, more real, and more necessary as human beings have come to consider themselves more than the context they were born in, and more than the external standards and expectations that formed their surrounding conditions.
In the presence of this growing need for freedom, the existence of restrictions which hampered its expression have been felt as increasingly oppressive. Historically, the need to determine what did and did not best suit the self gradually became perceived not only as a need but as a right by both individuals and nations. Yet, it was not until the crucial step taken in the founding of America that need and right became one, and that an action was taken which articulated the supremacy of individual rights over the rights of all others to define life for oneself.
This huge and portentous undertaking surrounding the declaration of freedom by a young nation was more than an action by a small group of colonies seeking to unite. It was an action taken on behalf of humanity - a humanity that watched and waited for its own possibilities to move in a similar direction - the direction of freedom of choice, of government by consent of the governed, and of the protection of individual liberties. The rest of the world may not have been consciously ready for such a change, and yet in every way conceivable, America's step forward was a step forward for humanity.
This step, however, at its inception, was not perceived in the same way by all who sought to define the rights of the new nation. When the original founders of the Republic gathered together in order to articulate the needs that would cause them to separate from Great Britain, not all were in agreement as to how wide this separation should be. Some felt that the separation should only be partial and that the sustenance and protection of the new country would be better met if it remained part of the orbit of territories and nations surrounding the homeland of Britain. Others felt that a more radical separation was needed in order to guarantee these same qualities of sustenance and protection. Nevertheless, what won out in the end was the supreme need for each and every member of the founding group to uphold the right of individuals to determine their own fate. To this end, such measures as taxation without representation, the enforced housing of militia within civilian residences and properties, the arbitrary enforcement of laws that had relevance to a land now far away that did not have relevance to the new colonies, could not be tolerated as a way of life. For these regulations restricted in great measure the right to self-determination. Each of these rulings by a dominant yet distant authority felt like a yoke around the neck of a young people and a restriction of an essential right.
It was for this reason, to break the yoke of oppression by an external authority over life and livelihood, that the Articles of Confederation were drawn up and the Declaration of Independence came into existence. This same principle coursed through the blood of all who actively participated in the discussion of those times - the principle that men had the right to live freely and to shape their own fates, to determine the qualities of their lives and their opportunities for happiness. This principle had never before been articulated as a human right. It remains, today, as a turning point in human history.
Today, the principles that were present at America's founding still beat deeply and strongly within her lifeblood and heart. They are also being watched and witnessed by the rest of the world as it beholds the fate of democracy. For a standard is still being held high that shapes the expectations and hopes of the world around a principle and ideal that America continues to hold in her heart and essence. The world recognizes this, and still seeks to see the principle victorious over those actions and practices that would cloud or distort it, for America's downfall or corruption is the corruption of an ideal that has been a lodestar for the rest of humanity.
In the present, this principle and ideal is being threatened by an instillation of fear in the body politic - fear that is being amplified by forces of darkness, fear that causes, in the name of increased safety and security, a limitation of the freedoms that are an inherent part of America's life. This fear is only partly based on a real threat to safety. In large measure, it is based on a construction of a world view in which there are those who are perceived as less than human, with desires that are unfamiliar and do not resemble those of ordinary consciousness. This separation of the world into adversaries who have incompatible ideals is an ideological tool that is being used by forces that seek their own ends, namely, to corrupt the central ideals that lie within America's heart, and to create division and conflict on a global level.
What is crucial, therefore, at this time, is to remain true to the principles which form the heart and essence of America's history, to remain true to the call to freedom that is both part of her creation and of her current purpose. Only fear can create a wish to give away this freedom in service to something else, and this fear must be replaced by trust that there is another way to manage in a world of divergent points of view and disparities between nations. That way is not to continue to build up larger and larger levels of defense.
To not give vent to fear is the central task of this time, and the most important means of protecting freedom, for it undermines the power of darkness to take hold within human consciousness and allows the space to find another way of resolving difficulties that is light-filled and remains true to the needs of the situation.
In this time in which freedom is threatened by the ostensible need for security, let every heart know that God is ever watchful over the true causes of people everywhere that involve the need to live freely, and will provide for those who remain faithful to the principles at the heart of a nation.
Let every heart know that what has once been true of the need to establish the foundation for democracy and liberty within America, remains true. It has been, and shall be, the everlasting foundation upon which the nation shall stand in pursuit of its own destiny and as a light for the world.