Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day Questions

Vache Folle raises a good 4th of July question about who authorized the Declaration of Independence. His ancestors in Georgia were not part of that, yet it happened. Their consent, he concludes, was therefore engineered for them. A good religious question is whether the American Revolution was righteous and biblical, and should a Christian have supported it. Christians debate among themselves about this. One church I attended held that this was ungodly rebellion against a legitimate civil government - the British Crown - and no Christian should support such activity. Others, like Rushdoony-style reconstructionists, see the early colonies as having established biblical local civil governments, with the actions of Parliament being rebellious against them. The American Revolution, then, to them, wasn't so much a revolution as it was a justified defensive counter-revolution. Parliament and the Crown were the rebellious bodies against legitimate civil governments. In general I tend to hold to the latter.

But as Vache Folle has held regarding the Civil War, I've come to think that there were as many reasons for the revolution as there were people involved. I've read historical accounts that call this war the "pastors' war," as many of the soldiers who fought against the British were Puritan pastors, convinced from a biblical standpoint that such a war was just. A religious decline following the war resulted since there were so many pastors lost in the battles.

Some believe that we should legitimately be under British rule to this day, but such an idea would apply at most to only the original thirteen colonies. California, for example, didn't join the union for some 70 years later. It might have been an independent state, set apart from the British Crown, and some of my ancestors may have settled elsewhere. Many of them wouldn't have met each other, and I wouldn't have been me. Scary thought.

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