From Where I Sit: Happy birthday to this great country

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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And so the grand experiment now celebrates its 236th birthday today. Surely those individuals who first molded this new country together had no idea how America would develop. Yet here we are, with another patriotic year under our belt. For all of our supposed faults as a country, our universal commitment to freedom endures. The fact that we have been ?endowed by our Creator? with the right to ?life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? remains intact. After all of these years we are still a work in progress. We are still working out the kinks. That?s the beauty of it ? everyone has a chance and a voice. One person cannot do it all. In fact, in the grand scheme of things one person cannot do much. But one person can do his or her part. I?m an ?original text? type of person. I like to refer to the texts that gave rise to our country as well as to our religion. I like to keep the Bible open when discussing Christianity and I like to keep the Declaration and Constitution open when discussing our country. For example, the Supreme Court recently ruled on the issue of health care. So here?s what I did. Rather that regurgitate what all of the media said about it, I went to the Supreme Court?s website to begin reading the majority opinion as well as the dissenting opinion in this case. It consists of 200 pages of text. Why argue over what the teleprompter-readers on CNN or Fox say about it? Why not read it yourself? At least in this way, your opinion is better informed. Which leads me to another thought ? technology, though a blessing in many ways, can also be a curse. Nowadays, anybody can respond online with a post that says anything, no matter how mean, thoughtless or ignorant, and get away with it. Civil discourse is more difficult than ever. Yes our system of representative government is imperfect and slow, but it is the best thing we have going on this earth. Our Constitution seeks to form a ?more perfect union.? We have enjoyed ?the blessings of liberty? for a long time now. We do not take those blessings for granted. Bonhoeffer said, ?Grace is free but it is not cheap. It comes to us at great cost.? The same can be said of our American liberty. Reach Tom Rupp at