have probably observed the growing trend of state and local
governments to stop citizens from possessing and using
fireworks. Police in more restrictive states, like Utah,
for instance, have gone so far as to cross the Wyoming border
(where fireworks are less restricted), spy on those who
purchase fireworks there, follow them back over the border,
search their vehicles, and fine them.
Despite shows of statute and excessive force,
thousands perhaps millions of Americans will participate
in setting off illegal fireworks today. Institutions such as
Utah's KSL radio station,
owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints (LDS or Mormons), appear perplexed at this
rebellious phenomenon. Yesterday, their
editorial board put forth the following:
"We wonder who will be victimized or suffer
unnecessarily this 4th of July holiday because someone more
concerned about a cheap thrill chose to break the law and
set off dangerous, illegal fireworks.
"We wonder what fields and forests will burn,
whose homes will go up in flames, and most tragically, who
will be physically injured, if not permanently maimed by an
ill-timed explosion of an illegal firework.
"We wonder why some citizens brazenly flout
rules established to protect society and prevent needless
personal injury and property damage. We wonder why they make
costly annual pilgrimages to nearby towns in neighboring
states, and chance being ticketed and fined, to smuggle in a
few banned bottle rockets, M-80 salutes and various aerial
"We wonder why so many gleefully gather in
backyards, cul-de-sacs and open fields with their spoils to
openly defy what is deemed dangerous and harmful. We wonder
what kind of messages parents who do this are sending to
their children about the importance of honoring, obeying and
sustaining the law of the land.
[My note: This last sentence
references the LDS church's official doctrine in their
"Twelfth Article of Faith," which states: "We believe in
being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates,
in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."]
"We wonder where the problems will occur this
year, for inevitably they will. Will it be your
neighborhood? Will it be your home? Will it be one of your
"Yes, we wonder!"
Wonder!" Editorial Board, KSL Radio Station, July 3,
Consider the implications of this editorial.
Are we are too stupid to safely and responsibly light
fireworks? Too infantile to be accountable for our actions if
we irresponsibly harm ourselves, others, or the environment?
Isn't it ironic that our forefathers were
encouraged to use voluminous amounts of gunpowder in
completely unsafe environments to fight off a foreign power
(the British), but we are now too inane to take risks with a
firecracker or bottle rocket?
Why will so many individuals "openly defy"
statute and religious admonitions today?
Let us answer these and other Tories by examining the nature
At some level, beneath all the propaganda and
indoctrination that man has been baptized under since birth,
he instinctively, and for good reason, despises the nanny
church-state. Regardless of all the man-philosophies and
institutional nonsense piled upon him by corrupt institutions,
he still yearns to be free.
He may not vocalize it like many of his loud
forefathers, but he still finds small avenues to express his
resentment for those who rule over him. He speeds on the
freeway, he skips a church meeting, he purposely does not vote
for the "better of two evils", and
he "gleefully" joys in the
opportunity to "openly defy" statute by lighting illegal
fireworks on the "4th of July". He is proud to
willingly "chance being ticketed and fined."
And he might even recollect in the back of
his mind that this day used to be known as "Independence Day,"
or a celebration against tyranny. Two-hundred and thirty
years since its inception, this day begins to symbolically represent a ban against independence and
Thomas Jefferson, who authored much of the
Declaration of Independence, stated:
"The spirit of resistance to government is so
valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always
kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but
better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little
rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the
to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787 (see The Founder's
Almanac, by Matthew Spalding, The Heritage Foundation,
2002, p. 158)
This spirit that drives man to be so "brazenly
irresponsible" is granted to all men by a power that exceeds
all mortal powers and opinions, including the words of tyrants
penned to paper and smugly enforced by gun-toting tyrants
whose projectiles are also propelled by gunpowder. As
sure as the sun rises, man longs to be free.
This longing was the purpose of Independence
Day, which John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, expressed to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776:
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most
memorable Epocha, in the History of America.
"I am apt to believe that it will be
celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great
anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the
Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God
Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade,
with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and
Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other
from this Time forward forever more."
Source: Printed in Adams Family
Correspondence, 2:29-33 See also
This Independence Day, as on all others, you
have a choice. You can "be subject to kings, presidents,
rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining
the law," as
religious media outlets like KSL and your Tory forefathers
circa 1776 would have you do. You can shy away from your
heritage and join the subdued festivities of ingrates who
squat on American soil. You can allow your fireworks and
freedom to be planned, staged, and set by legions of
Or you can also celebrate the right your
Creator gave you to be free, and your commitment to resist
tyranny. You can light your own
fireworks, and keep them lit throughout the year.