Let tyrants shake their iron rods

>> Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Independence Day used to be one of my favorite holidays. When I was a child I loved the family cook outs at the lake, fireworks, patriotic music playing on the stereo, and all the hype surrounding the 4th of July. But now, in light of the war in Iraq, the political and social unrest in our nation, and the lack of respect that our government has for our Founding Fathers and their desire to establish a new kind of nation built on freedom, equality, and liberty for all people, I find myself at a loss as to how and if I should celebrate this day at all.

It seems that our nation has lost its zeal for liberty and that we have traded it for the zeal for conquest, acquisition, and conforming others to our way of thought, belief, and life. We have become no less tyrannical than the British against whom we rebelled in the 18th century. We have become the enemy we decried, and I stand and watch with fear and sadness at how so many other nations of the world hold us in such disdain.

Today I will celebrate with my family in the usual manner. We will grill hamburgers outdoors and Lauren and I will light sparklers in the back yard and then we'll all pile into the car and drive to the lake for the annual Lion's Club community fireworks display. It's tradition. And even though the tyrants are once again shaking their iron rods, and the tyrants happen to be our own government, I will still celebrate the principles on which this nation was established. And I will pray that we will return to those principles before it is too late.

Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And slav'ry clank her galling chains;
We fear them not; we trust in God,
New England's God forever reigns.

Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton, too,
With Prescott and Cornwallis joined,
Together plot our overthrow,
In one infernal league combined.

When God inspired us for the fight,
Their ranks were broke; their lines were forced,
Their ships were shattered in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our shore.

The foe comes on with haughty stride,
Our troops advance with martial noise;
Their veterans flee before our youth,
And generals yield to beardless boys.

What grateful off'ring shall we bring,
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud hallelujahs let us sing,
And praise his name on ev'ry chord!

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