The 4th of July dates all the way back to the American Revolution, you know that, the 13 original colonies were fighting for independence from Great Britain. And in this midst of that struggle, they came together to sign what most agree is the greatest document in U.S. history, the Declaration of Independence. It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin. But you didn't know this, 56 men signed the original declaration. Most lost fortune and family as a result. Some lost their lives. But not one, catch this, not one defected or failed to honor the pledge.
The 4th of July is an American tradition of celebrating political and religious freedom. What do we do on the 4th of July? Sing patriotic songs, we fly the flag, there's nothing more powerful or meaningful than that, certainly to my dad. I'll take a moment and tell you a little bit about my dad. My dad belonged to what Tom Brokaw called the Greatest Generation ever. He was a World War II vet. My dad served on the USS Pennsylvania. When I was a boy, I used to sit at his feet and he would tell stories of what it was like for him in his teen years over in the South Pacific. He would tell stories about being in Guam and the Philippines and more. I remember him talking about the kamikaze pilots that used to fly in the skies and how terrified he would and how the guns would be going, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And it was like I was there.
One story he told was how a big howitzer, one of those big guns on the ship misfired and they had to take the shell out of the gun. And it was his job to help get that thing overboard. He said he was so afraid. He said he was so happy to get back to the mainland. When he did, he kissed the ground and he couldn't wait to get all the way back to DuBois, Pennsylvania where he grew up as a boy. He also told the story of how my mother, whom he had dated before he went to the war and they broke up, was engaged to somebody else when he came back. But when she saw him in downtown DuBois, she slipped that ring off her finger and well, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.
That spirit of patriotism was so deep in my dad's soul he pastored for nearly 60 years. But he loved God and country so much. My dad is one of those Americans that Toby Keith said flew a flag in his yard, literally till the day he died. That gift he gave to me, I tried to instill in my own son. I'll tell you a little story about my son, Zach, I took him to Washington, D.C. when he was younger. We made our way through downtown, all the museums, saw the Capitol building, the White House and more, but the most memorable part of the trip was a little journey across the Potomac alone, just the two of us.
My wife Julie and our daughter Megan were doing the museum scene and Zach and I went to Arlington. Never forget getting out of the car and beginning a trek together up through that cemetery. Of course, you know what he saw? A sea of white crosses everywhere, manicured to the nth degree. Because it's the place of honor in our country where we recognize our war dead. I'll never forget seeing two separate funerals going on during those moments. We stopped and stood at his attention together, didn't even speak to each other. He knew the solemness of that moment. Then we made our way on up the hill to the tomb of the unknown soldier. You know why? Because the lesson there is freedom is never free.
This Independence Day, my prayer for you is that you in the midst of your fun, your friends and your family, your time of celebration, fireworks tonight, you'll thank God for America. Let's celebrate God and country. In just a moment, you're going to hear a very important message from Dr. Dobson on political convictions. It's actually based on a letter that Dr. Dobson received. May God's blessings beyond you this holiday celebration, I'm Dr. Tim Clinton for James Dobson Family Institute. Next up, Dr. James Dobson.
Roger Marsh: More than 240 years ago, 13 British colonies rejected English rule and declared their independence as a sovereign nation. America's founding fathers desired a better representative form of government, not a tyrannical king, where there would be more rights and freedoms for all citizens. You are listening to Family Talk with your host, distinguished child psychologist and bestselling author, Dr. James Dobson. Hello everyone and happy 4th of July to you, wherever you are. I'm Roger Marsh, and here on this Independence Day broadcast, you'll hear Dr. Dobson read a moving and patriotic letter he received from his friend, Don Feder, titled Patriot's Prayer. Don is a respected journalist for the Boston Herald. He's also a nationally syndicated columnist. This letter walks through the bedrock values that make America great and highlights the key ways the country has abandoned those ideals in many ways. Despite it being written in 2010, it is still very relevant today. So I hope you'll listen intently to today's broadcast. We've entitled it, "I Believe in American Patriotism," on this edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Dr. James Dobson: I am an American. After God, my highest loyalty is to this country. I believe America cannot remain one nation unless it is undergone. America is no accident. From the beginning, it was intended by the author of liberty to fulfill a special role. We couldn't have gone from 13 disparate colonies clinging to the Atlantic Coast, to the world's last remaining superpower in little more than 220 years without the guiding hand of providence. Along with the founding fathers, I believe religion is the foundation of liberty, morality, and representative government. The First Amendment was meant to protect religion from government and not the reverse. The so-called separation of church and state, words found nowhere in the Constitution and which would've confounded its drafters, is used not to separate church and state, but affect the divorce between government and Judeo-Christian values.
I believe in the United States Constitution and the system of government it established, one of limited powers, inalienable rights, a balance of power and ordered liberty. I believe that the Constitution can only be amended as specified therein and never by judicial whim. I believe you don't have to be dean of a law school or a Supreme Court Justice to understand the Constitution. Just someone who has a sense of history is logical and understands that words have objective meaning. I believe in a judiciary that interprets law, not one that makes law. Judges who distort the Constitution's plain meaning to achieve their own ends have substituted their will for that of the voters and the founders. They are enemies of the Constitution and the people and should be impeached and removed from office.
I believe in the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment and which is based on the right to life and the right to defend one's life, family, and property. Private ownership of guns is the protector of hearth and home and the guarantor of liberty. I believe in the right to life from conception to natural death. It is the duty of the state to protect innocent human life, legalized abortion, state-sanctioned killing, is the beginning of the unraveling of the social order, which soon leads to euthanasia, infanticide, and the rationing of medical services. It is an affront to the law of God and jeopardizes the rights of all.
I believe in the free-market system as both the most efficient way to provide for human needs and the only economic system compatible with human rights and dignity. The free market is as American as the Constitution. It has brought unparalleled prosperity to this nation, an opportunity to its citizens. Today, government is trying to kill that system to achieve utopian ends like spreading the wealth. Advocates of the omni-state detest capitalism for its impartiality. In place of a system which rewards hard work, ingenuity and risk-taking, it wants rewards based on political power, payoffs, and favoritism.
I believe in limited taxation to pay for the constitutional functions of government. As government takes more and more of an individual's income through taxation, and regulation, and inflation, it robs him of his time, his labor, and ultimately his life, turning citizens into subjects. What we have today isn't taxation as envisioned by the founders, but plunder or serfdom. I believe the rich have as much right to their property as the rest of us, a system that penalizes the most productive of among us retards economic growth and is a denial of equal treatment on which this nation was founded.
If left unchecked, I believe the national debt and mega-deficits will demolish the economy and lead to a catastrophe on the order of the Great Depression. The national debt is like a runaway train barreling down a track, picking up speed as it goes, hurdling toward a precipice at the end of the line. For the 60 years before 2008, federal revenue averaged 17.9% of the gross domestic product and spending averaged 19.6%. We're now spending 25% of the gross national product and collecting about 15%. It used to be said that we owed it to ourselves. Now we owe a large part of it to the Chinese and the Saudis, who will one day make demands that endanger our national security. Eventually, even Washington's ability to borrow will reach its limits. Then, it will inflate the currency to the point where our economy built on debt comes crashing down. Say hello to Germany 1921 to 1923.
I celebrate America's heroes, history, and heritage. I believe America has been the greatest force for good in the world for more than two centuries. Ask the penniless immigrants whose descendants achieved success in every field. Ask the Belgians, the people of Normandy, the Filipinos, the South Koreans, and even the Japanese, and Germans whose cities and industry we rebuilt after World War II. Ask those liberated from Dachau and Buchenwald, who shed tears on the uniforms of American soldiers who saved them. A denial of American exceptionalism is based on ignorance, indoctrination, or malice. I believe we need to begin teaching patriotism again. For decades, Hollywood, the news media, public education, and academia have been enemy territory. Elitists have indoctrinated generations to blame America first. This needs to be countered by a concerted effort to teach the young what America really means and why love of this country is thoroughly justified.
I believe political correctness is killing our country. National security, law enforcement, and social stability are now subordinate to group sensitivity and spurious claims to equality. Scrutinizing passengers who are most likely to commit terrorist acts is decried as racial profiling. Recognizing the reality that married couples, men and women, do society's vital work is said to offend those with alternative lifestyles. The military becomes a laboratory for social experiments. To raise the self-esteem of the aberrant, we willingly sacrifice cohesion and combat effectiveness. Political correctness has become a national suicide pact that ordinary Americans never agreed to.
I believe in public service, not career politicians, those who primarily serve themselves at the public expense. The idea of an individual holding elective office for a quarter-century or more is obscene. It's hard to say which is more of a threat to representative government, those who crave political power so much that they cling to it with a death grip or an electorate so feckless that it repeatedly gives it to them. I believe in the America of individual liberty, patriotism and honor. I believe in the America of George Washington and John Adams, of Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, of Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan.
I honor the brave men who fought to defend America as well as those who fight today, from Concord to Yorktown, from Gettysburg to San Juan Hill, from the Argonne to the Bulge, from the Chosin Reservoir to the Tet Offensive, from Kuwait to Kabul. Politicians talk about freedom, columnists write about it. Members of our armed forces bleed and die to defend it. I stand with the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the Pioneers, the earliest settlers on these shores and the intrepid Americans who pushed west, settling this vast continent with the farmers, and ranchers, and merchants, and mechanics, the workers, entrepreneurs, and inventors. America is a monument to their perseverance and vision.
I believe a nation that cannot defend its borders has surrendered its sovereignty. Immigration issues should be decided by the American people based on the national interest, not by political elites and activist judges, based on expediency, a misguided altruism, multicultural fantasies, or a sense of guilt. The Statue of Liberty says, "Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," not to give me your criminal class, your moochers, and those who refuse to assimilate, all of them here illegally. I am outraged by driver's licenses and in-state tuition for illegal aliens. This isn't compassion, but a slap in the face to hardworking, law-abiding Americans, including the immigrants who came here legally.
I believe America's language is English, along with our common ideals. It's the glue that holds together a diverse people. From the Mayflower Compact to the Declaration of Independence, from Washington's Farewell Address to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, from the Constitution to the latest Congressional enactment, America's story has been written and spoken in English. I reject anything that detracts from the primacy of our mother tongue. I believe American identity is based on belief, not blood, heart and head, not race, religion, or ethnicity. An American is identified by what he believes, not the happenstance of birth. Everyone who believes what Americans have always believed, everyone who fights for America is an American, regardless of how he worships, where he was born, or the color of his skin. In the words of Shakespeare's Henry V, "For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."
I believe we need to stop dividing Americans along the line of race and ethnicity and start uniting them. The more the nation is polarized as us versus them, the less likely we are to hang together in times of trouble. Multiculturalism and racial identity politics teach minorities that they're members of a race, ethnicity, or community first and American second, if at all. We need an electorate which will vote not as Latinos, Blacks, workers, retirees, businessmen, et cetera, but as Americans for America.
I believe the chattering class is rife with treason, not treason as defined in law, but treason of the heart. They repudiate the ideals on which this country was founded, identify with our enemies and believe our history is an unbroken saga of exploitation, oppression, and imperialism. To justify their hatred of America, they rewrite history and obsess about our mistakes while ignoring our triumphs. The traitors in our midst run the gamut from the clergymen who calls on God to "damn" America, and the college professor who glorifies the murder of American soldiers, to the filmmaker who uses his art to slander his country, and the actress who made propaganda broadcast for the enemy in time of war and lied about the treatment of American prisoners, they despise America so much.
I believe defending America must be the first priority of our national government. We live in a world of prowling predators, barbarians with weapons of mass destruction. Thus it has been, thus it will be as long as human nature endures. The principal role of government is to protect us from savages at home and abroad. Liberty is guarded by men who walk the ramparts. Much as we may wish it were otherwise, a world at peace is a dangerous delusion. Pacifism, disarmament, and internationalism are as irrational as imperialism and aggression. I believe that ultimately, American security rests on the family. Families keep America strong. The family is the incubator of civic virtue. Those who undermine the family including marriage subverts America.
I believe Israel and America share a unique bond. In the course of human history, they're the only two nations where the vision preceded procession of the land. American values stretched to Sinai and come to the West through Jerusalem, Rome, and Geneva. Absent ancient Israel's encounter with God, there would've been no America. To turn our back on Israel would be to betray ourselves. I believe Islam is the deadliest foe confronting America. Terrorism is almost the exclusive province of Islamists. Islam is the religion of peace the way German is the language of diplomacy. Orthodox Islam is an ideology at war with American values, religious tolerance, equality before the law, and non-aggression. September 11, 2001 was not Islam's declaration of war on America, but a milestone in a clash of civilizations that's been going on for more than 1,300 years. What fascism was during the 1930s and '40s, what communism was from 1917 through the Cold War, Islam is today.
I believe America needs patriots as never before. Defeatism and disengagement are unacceptable. Each of us owes this country far more than we can ever repay. To withdraw from the fray is a betrayal of the patriots who came before us, the Continental soldiers who left bloody footprints in the snow on Washington's retreat from New York, the patriots who starved and froze at Valley Forge, the patriots who stormed Cemetery Ridge, and those who held the ridge, the Lost Battalion of the Argonne, the Marines on Guadalcanal, the heroes who landed on Omaha Beach under withering fire, the Battling Bastards of Bastogne, those who fought with the sword and those who fought with the pen, those who first beheld this blessed land with tear filled eyes, and those who refused to give up when all seemed lost.
God bless America, if not for ourselves then for our fathers. If this generation is less worthy of His blessing, may He remember the generations that came before us, going back to Plymouth and Jamestown. God, make us worthy of Your blessings. When we live up to our national motto, "In God we trust," then will we truly deserve to be blessed.
Roger Marsh: What powerfully patriotic words read today here on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. If you'd like to read the entire letter that Dr. Dobson shared, it's called A Patriot's Prayer, simply visit drjamesdobson.org and click onto the Broadcast tab. There you'll find a link to the prayer and also more information about journalist, Don Feder, who's the author of it. To find all that information and more, go to drjamesdobson.org. We have some exciting news for you faithful listeners of Family Talk. You can now listen to our daily broadcasts in a quick and easy way through Amazon Alexa. So the next time that you have your hands full around the house and you can't get to the phone or the radio, you can still listen to our latest program through Alexa. Learn how to get started at drjamesdobson.org/alexa. That's drjamesdobson.org/alexa. From all of us here at the JDFI, thanks for your prayers, financial support and for making us a part of your day. I'm Roger Marsh, inviting you to join us next time for another edition of Family Talk, the voice you trust for the family you love.
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