Independence Day is about to be celebrated in the United States. It is a time of reflection on and gratitude for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon our country. This quotation taken from a speech delivered by President Calvin Coolidge at Independence Hall struck me as relevant to our and to all times. It appears in Mark R. Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism: and the Tyranny of Progressivism.“A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features, the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man—these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.
We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course, the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.”—Calvin Coolidge
Happy Birthday America! And homeschoolers, teach your children well. —Quinn