In the movie Independence Day, Will Smith kills a bunch of aliens who attack the United States with giant killer UFOs. There are quite a few good one-liners and some awesome action sequences, but no one remembers any of those; they only remember the scene where the White House is blown to smithereens, and if they're old enough, they remember how everyone in the theater cheered at that moment.
That's the kind of independence most people are after these days—freedom from law, not freedom under law. What they seem to forget is that the Founding Fathers weren't a bunch of anarchists who simply wanted to do whatever they wanted without England butting in. The Founding Fathers only wanted England to treat the U.S. equitably as part of the British monarchy.
When England essentially refused to do so, the American Patriots decided to take matters into their own hands. Yes, there were other prominent motives for throwing off the yoke of English rule, most of them economic, but ideologically the Revolution was fuelled by a desire for a national government that was answerable to the people and inherently limited in scope and sovereignty.
Over the years, the United States have drifted away from the initial ideals of men like Madison, Jefferson and Adams. That doesn't mean we don't enjoy basically the same model of government they set up, and it certainly doesn't mean that we've lost any significant amount of liberties. We remain a checked-and-balanced nation that values freedom and responsibility, and we celebrate it every July 4th.
Sure, we still remember the formation of our country, the signing of the Declaration of Independence and all that. But nearly two and a half centuries later, the celebration of Independence Day is less about the origins of our nation than it is about its continuing commitment to liberty, freedom of conscience, and justice at home and around the world.
None of us at Exodus Books are flag-waving fanatics, nor do we support everything the U.S. does or stands for. Wars on foreign soil may or may not be justified, and as a nation we've certainly turned from biblical morality toward reprobate license. At the same time, the fact that we can worship Christ on Sunday without fear, preach His name to others, and still vote when the time comes is reason enough to light off some fireworks and eat fried chicken at the beginning of each summer.