The beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder gives a great perception of freedom and independence from earthly kings with her thoughts on Independence Day .
For Laura Ingalls Wilder, the combined reading of the Declaration of Independence and the singing of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” sparked new thoughts about freedom as she contemplated words which were old and familiar.
(From the book “Little Town on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder):
The crowd was scattering away then, but Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought. The Declaration and the song came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king. She thought: Americans won’t obey any king on earth. Americans are free. That means they have to obey their own consciences. No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself. Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders. I will have to make myself be good. Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought. This is what it means to be free. It means, you have to be good. ‘Our father’s God, author of liberty–’The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty. Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.
This transition for Laura is a perfect illustration of a child moving from the grammar stage (memorizing and reciting the songs and the Declaration) to the logic stage. Her solid foundation in American history gave her a firm basis for later thinking big thoughts about the idea of freedom. She reasons out the source of freedom and rightly draws conclusions about the both the liberties and the restrictions of handling freedom properly.
This is why it is so important for our kids to memorize and recite many of the documents, quotes, and songs of our founding. The knowledge and memory usually leads to that inquisitive state of mind where logic takes hold. Unfortunately, we have a generation or more who have been taught that our country is just one of many and not so exceptional. Nothing is further from the truth.
Take time to remember with your family and friends the meaning of the Declaration made 235 years ago and what it has meant for you, your country, and the world. Think about the logic and intelligence of our founders. And take time to understand who is King of our country and that no man is king on earth.
–’The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty.”
Take a lesson from a young pioneer girl who understood what it means to be American.
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