Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. ~John 8:36
Give me liberty, or give me death. ~Patrick Henry, 1736 - 1799
In the late 1700s, in the fortuitous country that would become the United States of America, the ideals and values of a nation truly free because of God's grace, and His unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, would become, miraculously, realized. But not without our Founding Fathers being aware of, yet willing to sacrifice fortunes and ranks, lives and livelihoods, to see it happen.
Oppression under the Crown of England was tolerated by the colonies until it no longer served them or their interests - think taxation without representation and viewing American colonists as the great unwashed. With so many of our unique freedoms taken for granted in today's society, it's easy to forget that our Founding Fathers were willing to pay whatever price was necessary to secure these freedoms for posterity. Their wisdom was, inarguably, God-inspired. For it is Christian values that rule the precepts both in our Constitution and in the most daring document in American history - The Declaration of Independence.
When I was feeling a bit despondent this last July 4th, because so many voices in the media were hell-bent on disparaging and delegitimatizing our Founding Fathers, I thankfully discovered this marvelous gem of a book, The 56 by Douglas MacKinnon. Immediately, the information contained within boosted my spirits, and reminded me why we should, to this day, be proud of our conception as a nation, founded on our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
MacKinnon does an outstanding job of setting the stage for what is happening in the colonies when it's decided to convene a Constitutional convention as a first step in declaring from England. He then goes on to detail the lives of all 56 men who courageously signed the Declaration. An overwhelming majority of these delegates had substantial wealth, and stood to lose everything to the Crown for their traitorous actions. Yet, to a man, each one was more than willing to take that risk.
I found myself both inspired and grateful as I read the brief biographies of each of our distinguished signers. MacKinnon successfully fleshes out personalities, and makes readers feel as if they are in the same room with these giants of history. Yes, The 56 is that good!
In light of this, I'm giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner who comments here. Your name will be placed in a "hat," and I'll have Danny draw the name of the winner two weeks from now, and I'll announce that winner on the blog.
And if you don't win? I do hope you will order this gem of a book for yourself, and then pass it along to friends and neighbors, or donate to your church library for the edification of others.
As President Reagan warned us decades ago: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
May we resolve to keep the lights of liberty shining!
About the author:
Douglas MacKinnon served as a writer in both the Reagan and Bush administrations. He later joined the Pentagon where he had top secret government clearance. His other books include Vengeance is Mine, and a memoir, Rolling Pennies in the Dark, all available on Amazon.