For the Fourth — James Clinton Belcher

jamesclintonbelcher  by James Clinton Belcher

For the Fourth — James Clinton Belcher

My wife is the wordy one. She has the education in law and diplomacy. She is my Agent in all these affairs, the one who makes the decisions day to day, assigns the work, and carries on. She never neglects to consult, but she carries on for me and mine, in capacities I don’t cherish, because ruling others is a terrible calling and one that no rational man would choose.

This goes back to the days of Samuel, the Prophet. We should have no ruler but the true God, our Creator. Surely, we have learned that much? And far be it from me to be a ruler of men or of destinies. That is a role that every Belcher has abhorred for centuries, much preferring that men learn to rule themselves.

Therein lies a profound irony. Those most trustworthy to rule, are those least desiring any such role. Mia culpa.

I have not wanted to be on any center stage or tell anyone how to live, but what I can say is that the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays and The Declaration of Independence is one of my favorite reads. It puts into perspective those issues with which we contend every day and it refreshes my soul to read The Declaration of Independence.

Here, we are all on center stage. Here, in the words of The Declaration of Independence, we are face to face with what we say we believe, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights….

Let us honor those rights with our bodies and our souls, with the whole determination of our minds.

We are going to try to have a peaceful and traditional Fourth of July, with bratwurst (my wife’s side of the family) and potato salad (my Irish side) and a blueberry pie (American and Alaskan to the bone) and think of how far we have come.

No doubt sometime in the afternoon we will watch “1776” and sing along:

“My name is Richard Henry Lee. Virginia is my home…. ”

God bless America and all those who have struggled and fought for her. May we all be remembered among those who carried the day, not because we were so eager for any glory, but because we were present at the moment when it all came push to shove, and did what we had to do.

Pray for us all and for our beloved country. America is not to blame for the guile of evil men acting in her name.


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