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We are not the country the founders envisioned

The 113th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade is billed as the largest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Now that all the bread and circuses are over and many millions have been spent celebrating the Fourth of July, it might be good to remember what we really are celebrating. This is especially important as many change history to suit their agendas.

The Founding Mothers and Fathers believed in a religious humanism. All people were valued from conception to natural death because the Creator had given each person a share in divine life attributes.This idea was directly a response to the "Divine Right of Kings and Queens" notion that God had given a special right only to the monarchy. Our forefathers and mothers believed that God had gifted all human life.

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All of the divine gifts were interrelated with each other and were only to be used in mutual respect for the same rights in all other human beings. America was not founded upon a hierarchy of rights of select few, but on an equality of rights and a responsibility to act out one's rights in mutual respect for the same rights of others. Thus, there was not to be a government preferred religion, but freedom to live out one's faith in the market place was to be sacred. God is honored and recognized in our founding documents, in our founding leaders' speeches and writings and in their behaviors in respect for religion as a positive aspect of America's society. It was the role of religion to teach responsible freedom within the context of mutual respect for the divinely gifted rights of others.

It was for the rights of others as well as for the rights of self that our founders died, risked death, went to jail, were beaten, went hungry, left family for war and worked in the process of seeking mutual freedom without counting the cost.

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In our more and more self-centered society today, one wonders if this ideal of mutual freedom is even recognized. The government has given "right" over life and death to one sex; given certain special populations "rights" over others' rights; made their lack of belief in God the government supported "religion" of America. Government has established a class of people supported by an ever growing minority of workers who must work in such a way that their right to the pursuit of happiness is denied by the work load needed to support give away programs. This is not the picture of these social net programs presented when first enacted. No American is so hard of heart as to deny real need. But politicians have twisted these programs into ways to buy votes and entrap people in a government-run life. None of our founders would have died for such a view of America!

Rev. Michael Buttner, Bel Air

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