The pursuit of happiness: A chance to change history

If I could go back in time and choose a moment to sit down with Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, I would choose June 30, 1776. I would tell him straight up, “Tom, let’s tweak this thing a little bit more.” “You’re going to put Americans in a tizzy if you write the word ‘pursuit’ in our Declaration of Independence.” You see, we American’s have forged into our hearts from that founding document a divine destiny, “the pursuit of happiness,” that keeps us asking: What’s next?

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Bound By Hope of a Common Future

We’re living in a world where each of us fits the truth into our own box of understanding. In other words, we’ve been lied to so much that we are skeptical of what we hear anew. Let me give you an example. Today in America, when you hear the word “immigrant” does its image turn into a politically colored label in your mind? If not, then you truly are an American saint. For all the rest of us, the idea of immigrants coming to America has been so roughed over by the tracks of political bulldozers these past few years that it’s just not the same as it was.

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An American Christmas Story

As we enter this wintry season, one remarkable Christmas story comes to mind that I believe every American should remember. It was a different Christmas. A wartime Christmas. A Christmas when secrecy was the wrapping paper, and the gift was yet unknown. This Christmas story is written by the frostbit fingers of stalwart revolutionary soldiers marching to Trenton in toe-numbing cold on the evening of December 25, 1776.

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Three Certainties Define the Good Life

I have long imagined what the perfect world would look like and have concluded that it would contain three certainties until the end of time. The first two are easy enough to understand: comradery and comfort.

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The Man Who Lived the National Anthem

Right about now, it would serve Americans well to remember the story of the attorney, Francis Scott Key, who wrote the poem, “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” that quickly became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” By knowing its origin, we may better handle our present-day ruckus. The words of our national anthem describe real-life events that were observed that fateful night in September of 1814 when the British were trying to bomb Fort McHenry off the map.

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The Secret to Freedom

A French dude with a long name – let’s just call him Max, for now – espoused a secret that got him killed during the French Revolution. It is ironic that it caused him so much difficulty since in America whose revolution preceded his we embraced his secret. We will talk about the difference between the two revolutions in a minute, but first his secret. Max spoke eloquently and often about this secret at every opportunity he could, which eventually forced him to place his head in a guillotine because the political leadership in his country thought it too dangerous. During the 1790’s in France, this secret exposed a radical idea to the French populous on how to ensure their nascent freedom.

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