By Lonnie Wilkey
Sadly, that is all many Americans think of when it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July.
Actually, we are not celebrating the Fourth of July. We are celebrating Independence Day, the day when the Continental Congress declared the 13 original colonies were no longer subject to British rule and were now free and independent states.
Some of those early American “heroes” such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and numerous others are now looked down on because they lived in a culture and time period that condoned slavery, and, some of them, in fact, were slave owners.
Today, we know slavery is wrong and our country fought a war to prove it.
But should we take the names of Washington and Jefferson and so many others off a monument or building because they owned slaves? Does that negate what they did to give Americans, including those who are now calling for the removal of their names off buildings, the freedoms we enjoy today?
We need to celebrate the good that our Founding Fathers did, while recognizing they were not perfect. After all, they were human just like all of us.
Jesus said it well, “He who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7).
As we celebrate on Saturday, before we take that first bite of a hot dog or ice cream, say a prayer of thanks to God for allowing us to live in a country where we have freedoms for all people regardless of race or color. And, just remember, those freedoms were not “free.” They came about because courageous men and women over the years have fought to insure that we still have freedom of religion, freedom of speech and many other freedoms, including the freedom to protest the country that provides those freedoms.
May God bless America again! B&R