“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend and participate in what was accurately called, “The American Seder,” a celebration of remembering pivotal stories that led to the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence. The “Seder” script was written by Chuck Grifasi and presented by Colorado Pragar Fans.
The program highlighted America’s first stand for the concept of Freedom of the Press and re-enacted the famous Peter Zenger publishing case in 1735. Mr. Zenger was defended by sixty-year old Andrew Hamilton. His eloquent defense was concluded with the notion that the press has “a liberty both of exposing and opposing tyrannical power by speaking and writing truth.” The colonial jury ignored the immoral English law that demanded they find Mr. Zenger guilty of libel and established for American law that truth is a defense to an accusation of libel. I find it frightening that America’s mainstream media has succumbed to Islam’s threats to sue anyone who prints truth that offends Islam. Our once proud “Free Press” has reverted back nearly 300 years and now submits under the boot heel of Islamic tyranny. A current case in Canada is attempting to silence author Mark Steyn for exposing certain truths about Islam in his America Alone book.
Another key story came from a dinner scene in the home of Mercy Otis Warren, who wrote the History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution. In her collection of human interest stories she recalls personal letters from friends like Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. She also documented heroic wartime exploits of little known Americans such as Private Joseph Plumb Martin.
The hundred plus participants sang, “God Bless America,” listened to Johnny Cash’s, “Ragged Old Flag,” recited the “Pledge of Allegiance,” acknowledged active duty and military veterans, watched a video called, “They Also Serve,” and were treated to a special recorded messaged from Dennis Prager.
The “Seder” ended with a reminder to read the Declaration of Independence this Fourth of July. Each participant was given a prepared copy and Chuck Grifasi appealed to us to consider signing it on July 4th 2008 as a recommitment to the moral truth encapsulated in this American Foundational Document.
I simply add that if we don’t remember and commit ourselves again and again, year after year, we will lose the liberty we hold dear.