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    by Mike McHugh

The Cradle of Liberty
Date Posted: August 3, 2006

Another Independence Day, July 4th celebration has come and gone in the United States. From all appearances, most Americans have almost no idea what they are celebrating on the Fourth of July except perhaps their right to party long and hard. For the record, Independence Day was originally established in the U.S. to celebrate the kindness of Almighty God in granting a weak fledgling nation a stunning victory over the mighty empire of Great Britain. Many of the leaders who lived during and after the struggle for American Independence, most notably George Washington, commented openly concerning what they recognized as the "singular blessings of Almighty God" upon their efforts to secure liberty for themselves and their posterity.

As the twenty-first century unfolds, the sad reality is that the foundations of liberty in the United States are under attack both from without and within. While much sacrifice and expense is going into the effort to protect the U.S. from foreign enemies, i.e. terrorists; the steady erosion of civil and religious liberties continues unabated within American society. The inability to advance the cause of freedom in the United States and abroad in the post- 911 world, in spite of an unprecedented commitment of dollars, underscores the fact that money alone will not purchase freedom for a people any more than it will friends. The difficulty in overcoming this lack of progress in human liberty can be summed up in the age-old proverb, "We have met the enemy and he is us!" It does not take a great deal of insight, or knowledge of history for that matter, to recognize that the people of the U.S. are losing their liberty directly in proportion to their inability to comprehend and embrace the biblical principles that undergird true liberty.

Although the current threats to the U.S. from external forces are very real, the greater threat by far is the culture that is emerging from within the hearts of the American people which makes them willing to barter freedom for short-term material gain. This crisis, and it is a genuine crisis, should awaken every Christian home school parent to their need to diligently train their children in the principles of true liberty. Time must be invested in the work of educating students to the point where they possess a biblical view of government, law, culture, and politics. For many generations, families in the United States faithfully instructed youngsters in the true meaning of freedom and self-government because they understood that such teaching was vital to the preservation of a free society. This was in a day when American culture still recognized that the influence of the home in nurturing children was the true cradle of liberty. In the nineteenth century, author F. W. Greenwood, wrote the following remarks concerning the true source or foundation of American liberty:

"One of the most prominent features which distinguished our forefathers, was their determined resistance to oppression. They seemed born and brought up for the high and special purpose of showing to the world that the civil and religious rights of man; the rights of self-government, of conscience, and independent thought ---- are not merely things to be talked of and woven into theories, but were intended by the Creator to be adopted with the whole strength and ardor of the mind. Their laws and covenants recognized the liberty of the individual under God’s law in a time when few other societies did so. For them, liberty was not the power to live as one pleased but the freedom to live as God required.

Our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers left England, which, whatever it might have been called, was not to them a land of freedom; they launched forth on the pathless ocean, and after a toilsome and painful voyage, they came to a hard wintry coast, unfruitful and desolate, but unguarded and boundless. The calm silence of this new land did not interrupt the ascent of their prayers; it also had no human eyes to spy on them, no ears to listen, nor tongues to report them. They saw that they were free and gave thanks for the answer to their soul’s desire.

I am telling an old tale, but it is one that must be told when we speak of our forefathers, how they transmitted their principles to their children such that our country was always free. So long as its inhabitants were unmolested by the mother country in the exercise of their fundamental rights, they submitted to the form of English law; but when those rights were invaded, they spurned even the form away. For such a people, rebellion to tyrants was obedience to God.

It should be understood that the principles of the American Revolution were not the suddenly acquired property of a few bosoms: they had been in the land since the days of the early settlers. These principles had been taught steadily through the years like the truths of the Bible; they had descended from father to son, down from those primitive days, when the pilgrim, established in his simple dwelling, repeated to his children as they sat near the blazing fire the story of past persecutions and his resistance. Here they learned that they had nothing to fear if they walked in the fear of God rather than men. This was the true beginning of the move toward American independence, for every settler’s hearth was a school of independence; the scholars were apt, and the lessons sunk deeply; and thus it came that our country eventually won its freedom; it could not be other than free."

May Almighty God be pleased to use the faithful labors of home educators to rekindle a genuine interest in and deep appreciation for true liberty in the minds and hearts of their children so that they may be equipped to "...Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: ." Leviticus 25:10

Copyright 2006 Michael J. McHugh

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Biography Information:
This column is written by the staff at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As a pioneer in the homeschool movement, Christian Liberty ministries has been operating a full service, K-12 home school program for over thirty years and a Christian textbook ministry (Christian Liberty Press), since 1985. The mission of Christian Liberty is to provide parents with quality, affordable educational products and services that will enable them to teach their children in the home and to train their children to serve Christ in every area of life. A more extensive explanation of the CLASS home school program can be obtained at www.homeschools.org.
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