Bob Tamasy: May The Fourth Be With You

Monday, July 3, 2017 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

I can’t help it. Having been born on the 4th of July – a long time ago! – I’m a bonafide “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” and I’ve possessed a patriotic spirit for as long as I can remember. So, as another Independence Day rolls around, I’ll again be unfurling the red, white and blue, displaying it with pride. 

Our nation is far from perfect – and it seems we’re finding more evidence of that every day – but the foundational values that have undergirded it remain as valid as they were when the Declaration of Independence was written and signed about 240 years ago. 

The second sentence in the Declaration, considered one of the best-known sentences in the English language, states the case well: “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.” 

It’s being used and abused these days by various segments of society to claim rights of all kinds, as well as entitlements, but it seems to me the key words in this famed statement are “self-evident,” “created,” and “endowed by their Creator.”  

There have been countless debates over the religious and spiritual backgrounds of our founding fathers, whether they were Christians, theists, deists, or even agnostics. However, all who signed the document were agreeing to “self-evident truths” that included all men – humankind – having been created, and the rights to which we are “endowed” were established by a Creator. Although many today dispute what this means, “If the first sense makes good sense, don’t look for any other sense,” as someone wisely said. 

Principles espoused in the Declaration, and other classic documents known as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, hearken to these assertions. Why else would we even be concerned about individual rights for all – or whether anyone has an opportunity to pursue happiness? As atheist Jean-Paul Sartre asserted, “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist.” In other words, every man for himself. 

It is a sense of transcendent morality – based on unchanging, eternal truths – that enable us to have a determination for what’s right and what’s wrong. Without it, what’s good and right for me can be totally different from what’s good and right for you, and neither of us has a basis for declaring the other is wrong. As another non-believer, John D. Steinrucken acknowledged, “immutable moral laws of secularism” do not exist. 

For me, July 4th is an annual reminder that, as our Pledge of Allegiance asserts, we are “one nation under God.” I believe that reality is the sole remedy for the malaise that sadly afflicts our nation today. And yet, beyond being proud residents and citizens of the United States, followers of Jesus Christ are promised far more than that. 

As the Scriptures tell us, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). Through Christ we can approach our Creator as our heavenly Father: “For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household” (Ephesians 3:19-20). 

Whenever I see the red, white and blue of the American flag unfurled against a bright, sunny sky, or hear the Star-Spangled Banner or John Philip Souza compositions like “Stars and Stripes Forever” or the “Washington Post March,” my heart swells with pride for the country where I was raised and have raised my own children.  

However, I realize even more that in terms of eternity, our time here is just a blip, a mere moment. Therefore, it’s of far greater importance that we observe the admonition to, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). That’s where our true allegiance should lie.


----
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Brainerd Presbyterian Church Hires Youth Ministries Director

Brainerd Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church announces Henry Paris has accepted the opportunity to serve as BPC's full-time Youth Ministry director.  "His ?rst o?cial day is Aug. 1 and he has already begun to engage in activities with our youth group," officials said. Mr. Paris graduated from Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, in May 2018.  He ... (click for more)

Saint Paul A.M.E. Church Celebrates Its 129th Anniversary

St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 2514 Williams St. in Chattanooga, invites you to worship with them on the occasion of their 129th church anniversary.  The theme for this year's celebration is "On Christ the Solid Rock We Stand." The anniversary celebration begins on Saturday, July 28 with a musical event and culminates with Rev. Dan Scott of Baylor School, Chattanooga, speaking ... (click for more)

Man Killed, Passenger Seriously Injured; Driver Of Other Vehicle Hurt In Accident On Suck Creek Road Saturday Morning

One person was killed and two others injured in a head-on crash on Suck Creek Road on Saturday morning. The accident at 8:45 a.m. at the 2100 block of Suck Creek Road involved a Kia Sedona mini-van and a Hyundai Elantra. Preliminary results indicate that the Hyundai Elantra was traveling southbound on Suck Creek Road and, while negotiating a curve, ... (click for more)

A Jury For 2nd Time Convicts Randall Reed Of Murdering 70-Year-Old Woman In 2011

A jury for the second time has convicted Randall Reed of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Jane Stokes in East Ridge. The verdict was returned in the courtroom of Judge Tom Greenholtz’s on Friday. The earlier verdict had been thrown out by an appeals court. Reed testified in his own behalf. The victim was murdered in her home during a robbery in 2011. ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)