Blog Post –  Just In Time for Independence Day

Merriam=Webster:  “An epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” A pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.

There is no clear line distinguishing an epidemic from a pandemic. The latter is, from a public health perspective, worse than the former, but there is sufficient overlap between the two that at certain points consensus is unlikely.”

According to  “Sometimes, an epidemic stays contained to a specific area—but when it extends into other countries or continents, an epidemic turns into a full-blown pandemic. That was the case in 2009 when the WHO declared the swine flu (caused by the H1N1 flu virus) a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”—aka a pandemic.

When an epidemic crosses over into pandemic, the biggest difference is that more governments are involved in attempting to prevent the progression of the disease and, potentially, treat the people who have it.”

So . . . which of those words create the most fear in one’s heart?  Of course, the word pandemic does! 

COVID 19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th, almost a month and a half after President Trump banned travel from China. 

On July 1st, within hours of the Democrat-controlled PA Supreme Court ruling that HR 836, which would have required Governor Wolf to lift his emergency declaration and give Pennsylvanians back their freedom, Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary “Rachel” Levine issued a directive that if you leave your home you must wear a mask.  On the same day, California Governor Newsome ordered churches to “discontinue singing” during services.  The following day Wolf sets a travel quarantine all travelers will need to quarantine for 14 days upon return from Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Louisiana; Mississippi; Nevada; North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah. 

Let’s see:  Here we are celebrating the 244th birthday of the United States of America and in California you can’t sing in church.  Throughout the COVID 19 crisis churches have been limited in the number who can gather and how they can gather.  They’ve been limited in the activities in which they can engage.  Seems like, in some cases, they have been specifically targeted.  On this 244th birthday of the USA travel is even limited, family gatherings to celebrate are discouraged and California even banned fireworks!

Additionally, we see chaos and anarchy in too many American city streets.  Reminisce of ISIS tearing down statues and destroying historic monuments, we see the same thing  happening in US streets.  Mayors and governors sit quietly by or, in some cases, join in the protests.  Cries for defunding the police or completing disbanding police units are heard throughout the land.  What is happening to America?

How did we ever get here??

Proverbs 29:2 – “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

Psalm 33:12a:  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

John Quincy Adams was a 9 year-old boy when his father, John Adams, signed the Declaration of Independence along with 55 other men.  John Adams became the second President of the United States; his son became the sixth President of the United States serving from 1825 to 1829. 

The very next year former President John Quincy Adams was elected a US Representative from Massachusetts, serving from 1830-1848.  On February 21, 1848 ‘Old Man Eloquent’ John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke at his desk in the House chamber.  He had just given an impassioned speech against the Democrat plan to expand slavery into the Western territories acquired after the Mexican-American War.  He died 2 days later without regaining consciousness. A bronze marker on the U.S. House floor indicates where Adams’ desk once stood.

During his career, John Quincy Adams also served as:

U.S. Minister to Russia; U.S. Minister to Prussia; U.S. Minister to the Netherlands; U.S. Minister to Great Britain, where he negotiated the end of the War of 1812; and U.S. Secretary of State, where he negotiated obtaining Florida from Spain.

On September 26, 1810, John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary:

“I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year. I usually devote to this reading the first hour after I rise every morning…

On July 4, 1837 he delivered a message in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  In it he said, “Well, indeed, may such a day be commemorated by such a Nation, from year to year! But whether as a day of festivity and joy, or of humiliation and mourning,—that fellow-citizens,—that, In the various turns of chance below, depends not upon the event itself, but upon its consequences; and after threescore years of existence, not so much upon the responsibilities of those who brought the Nation forth, as upon the moral, political, and intellectual character of the present generation,—of yourselves.

Are you then assembled here, my brethren, children of those who declared your National Independence, in sorrow or in joy? In gratitude for blessings enjoyed, or in affliction for blessings lost? In exultation at the energies of your fathers, or in shame and confusion of face at your own degeneracy from their virtues? Forgive the apparent rudeness of these enquiries:—they are not addressed to you under the influence of a doubt what your answer to them will be. You are not here to unite in echoes of mutual gratulation for the separation of your forefathers from their kindred freemen of the British Islands. You are not here even to commemorate the mere accidental incident, that, in the annual revolution of the earth in her orbit round the sun, this was the birthday of the Nation. You are here, to pause a moment and take breath, in the ceaseless and rapid race of time;—to look back and forward;—to take your point of departure from the ever memorable transactions of the day of which this is the anniversary, and while offering your tribute of thanksgiving to the Creator of all worlds, for the bounties of his Providence lavished upon your fathers and upon you, by the dispensations of that day, and while recording with filial piety upon your memories, the grateful affections of your hearts to the good name, the sufferings, and the services of that age, to turn your final reflections inward upon yourselves, and to say:—These are the glories of a generation past away,—what are the duties which they devolve upon us?

The Declaration itself did not even announce the States as sovereign, but as united, free and independent, and having power to do all acts and things which independent States may of right do. It acknowledged, therefore, a rule of right, paramount to the power of independent States itself, and virtually disclaimed all power to do wrong. This was a novelty in the moral philosophy of nations, and it is the essential point of difference between the system of government announced in the Declaration of Independence, and those systems which had until then prevailed among men. A moral Ruler of the universe, the Governor and Controller of all human power is the only unlimited sovereign acknowledged by the Declaration of Independence; and it claims for the United States of America, when assuming their equal station among the nations of the earth, only the power to do all that may be done of right.

Threescore and one years have passed away, since this Declaration was issued, and we may now judge of the tree by its fruit. It was a bold and hazardous step, when considered merely as the act of separation of the Colonies from Great Britain. Had the cause in which it was issued failed, it would have subjected every individual who signed it to the pains and penalties of treason; to a cruel and ignominious death. But, inflexible as were the spirits, and intrepid as were the hearts of the patriots, who by this act set at defiance the colossal power of the British Empire, bolder and more intrepid still were the souls, which, at that crisis in human affairs, dared to proclaim the new and fundamental principles upon which their incipient Republic was to be founded. It was an experiment upon the heart of man. All the legislators of the human race, until that day, had laid the foundations of all government among men in power; and hence it was, that, in the maxims of theory, as well as in the practice of nations, sovereignty was held to be unlimited and illimitable. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed another law. A law of resistance against sovereign power, when wielded for oppression. A law ascending the tribunal of the universal lawgiver and judge. A law of right, binding upon nations as well as individuals, upon sovereigns as well as upon subjects. By that law the colonists had resisted their sovereign. By that law, when that resistance had failed to reclaim him to the rule of right, they renounced him, abjured his allegiance, and assumed the exercise of rightful sovereignty themselves. But, in assuming the attributes of sovereign power, they appealed to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of their intentions, and neither claimed nor conferred authority to do any thing but of right.”

For the sake of our nation, can we join the signers of the Declaration of Independence in saying: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

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