Greetings from Tyler,

Today is a day of heartfelt celebration across the United States. Flag festooned parades with Veterans in uniform, emotional speeches and tear stained testimony from many who’ve legally emigrated from squalid circumstances in other countries to live out their dreams in freedom. America is blessed tremendously with natural beauty and abundant resources. But our greatest blessing comes from “self-evident truths,” and the recognition that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights to include Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The beautiful document that defines today’s celebration rests ultimately on the recognition of God. “A secular document, the Declaration nonetheless needs religion for its authority. Thus, God is mentioned or referred to four times, in three capacities” legislator (Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God), Creator (or executive), Supreme Judge of the world, and as guardian (divine Providence). Quote from Heritage Foundation.

There was no doubt of God’s role in the affairs of man in the minds of our Founding Fathers, and certainly no doubt of His intervention in the Revolutionary War. Surely those sentiments still beat in the hearts of millions who are observing the meaning of this national holiday.

But the popular culture hardly reflects it, and there are clear indications that current national leadership is above it all. The patriotic Independence Day celebration this weekend carries a lot of baggage this year. The stock market is hitting all-time highs, and every news break tells us that unemployment has decreased. Knowing that trillions in borrowed, printed dollars are in circulation and that the means of calculating employment have been altered to give a false impression certainly tempers celebration of the “good news.”

Those of us who look beyond the snow job of the mainstream know that the United States is facing ruinous threats on numerous fronts, and it is getting nigh unto impossible to chalk it all up to bad luck. A great deal of American investment and sacrifice has been squandered by an administration determined to transform our reputation and posture to the rest of the world, and our very identity here at home.

The vacuum left by our hasty retreat out of Iraq has led to the institution of a full-blown terrorist state in Iraq and Syria, which endangers much of the Middle East and will threaten the west, including the United States. Even though our forces bled and died to free much of that land from murderous zealots, they’ve swarmed back across the landscape with an obviously well-financed army. It’s just infuriating to see them driving U.S. Humvees, and realize that they are utilizing weapons and ammo we provide for Iraqi defense.

But, with the pride of America’s power having been broken, our leadership dithers while Iran and Russia move into the fray. Some of the most intelligent and experienced analysts tell us that Iran remains a far more menacing threat than the upstart caliphate/terrorist state. But little if anything is being done to stop Iran from going nuclear. Even the sanctions, designed to degrade their economic resources have been negotiated into meaninglessness.

After pulling Egypt’s plug and turning America’s back on Israel, it seems that our leadership has determined that we no longer have a national interest in the most dangerous, pivotal and prophetically important region on earth. The Shiite president of Iraq aligned himself with Iran immediately in the wake of the U.S. departure. Now the Sunni terrorists have moved in and declared the territory they’ve taken a “caliphate” that they intend to expand. It will be a protracted blood bath where the bad guys win, no matter what. But now Russia is in the picture too, and the U.S. is just hoping to secure the massive embassy complex that took years to build in Baghdad.

It’s hard to imagine how something could be fouled up any worse. Unless you look at the desperate situation on our southern border. Only one mainstream network could be found to be carrying that news today, and that dealt with the three buses full of central American children that were blocked and turned back by residents of Murrietta, California before they could be offloaded. You’ve probably heard the news that 70% of the border patrol is now having to care for and process tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, while the cartels and the drug runners have the run of the border.

Russia and China are colluding to circumvent use of the U.S. dollar in international trade transactions. Even our allies may be tempted to go along, put off as they are about the massive “stimulus” maneuvers that have flooded the market with dollars.

At the rate things are progressing all over the world, and right here in the United States, with the ideals of today’s “celebration” largely ignored by those occupying positions of great power and influence, we can’t help but wonder what July 4 may look like a few years down the road. Already, you get the feeling that we’re celebrating a past greatness, a blessed present and an uncertain future, at least nationally. Wouldn’t it be nice if the ideals and sentiments that made this country possible could be recognized, embraced and practiced as intended? If it were so, the future would look much brighter than today’s news indicates.

Mark Armstrong