My Declaration


(See below for video)

Who doesn’t love fireworks? As a kid, I loved to watch things burn. No, I wasn’t a pyromaniac. Just a boy. (Is there a difference?) I’d douse my old model planes in lighter fluid and stage air disasters. I’d cheer as the latest latex-suited monster attacked Tokyo (who knew that not only dinosaurs but also giant moths and turtles could breathe fire?).

But most of all, I loved fireworks! Even after a match I’d used for a replacement fuse hurled itself up my nose, causing a glorious fiesta of blood on my t-shirt, I still loved firecrackers. I also loved writing my name in the air with sparklers. And those over-priced sparkler-and-boyand underperforming “fountains” the fireworks stands sold in the Southern California suburbs every June. I even loved the poopy little “snakes” with which we permanently scarred our  sidewalks each year.  But most of all I loved the real fireworks that exploded like snow cones over Disneyland on summer nights (we could see them from our split level Orange County ranch house rooftop). But it wasn’t until years later that I made the connection between the “bombs bursting in air” in my country’s national anthem and the terrible sacrifice they stood for.

I’ve never been a “my-country-love-it-or-leave-it” type. Nor do I believe native-born Americans are inherently better than anyone else. Heck, it’s the foreign-born immigrants who regularly replenish our national DNA with their reckless gumption and relentless dreams that best embody our American spirit.

But I do think something extraordinary happened when those imprudent idealists affixed their names to the Declaration of Independence, and later the U.S. Constitution; and then, on their heels, those backwoodsmen and women in buckskins and townies in wool laid down their lives to make it a reality. But what does this mean to Americans in the 21st century? And what does it mean for people of faith?

my-declaration-monologue_340_340To answer this question for myself I wrote a short narrative, My Declaration, that has been performed at churches throughout the U.S. If you’d like to read or perform it, click here for the monologue or here for the group (ensemble) version.

I also created a video. Hope you enjoy it. (Note: if you’d like to download a copy for your church or organization to use–or even for yourself–click here).

Happy Independence Day!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to My Declaration

  1. Nancy Ruegg says:

    It is indeed humbling to remember the sacrifice of millions before me who have made possible the America I enjoy today. May God grant me courage to live out “My Declaration” to support her for all of my remaining days. Thank you, Mitch, for a dose of true patriotism. It’s not just a feeling of pride for our grand country; it’s the fortitude to pursue its continuance as a nation under God–whatever that might entail. God help us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Declaration — Mitch Teemley – worry-less-journey

  3. HAT says:

    (And oh, wow, the snakes! East of the Mississippi, it’s as if they never existed … thanks for confirming that reality.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      I wondered whether they sold them in other parts of the country. We couldn’t buy real fireworks (rockets) in SoCal, but they included lots of novelty items in the firework packages, like those little snake things. They were black and squirmy (no sparks), so we were allowed to light them during the day.


  4. cat9984 says:

    Great way of adding context to another of our barbecue and beer holidays. Maybe if people remember the true sacrifices our ancestors made we wouldn’t make a mountain out of every political molehill.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennie says:

    Bravo, Mitch. Yes, the rockets red glare can bring to mind much to think about and realize.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous words. And I remember the snakes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cricketmuse says:

    Thank you for the well-stated reminder what the fireworks really mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A damn good way to affirm the right of being American. It is ALL of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice presentation! The deeper issues of freedom in Christ started a century earlier when the puritan pilgrims fled Europe ahead of a devouring campaign to exterminate Biblical Christianity… They were neither declaring independence from the crown of England nor from the Crown of Messiah Jesus; but only seeking a place where they might read the Bible in their own language, study it, and teach it diligently to their families in well ordered communities of worship and daily life honoring God and the crown… All the “fireworks” started over economic and political issues between the colonies and the crown, because the colonies refused every overture of the crown to establish a peaceable economic and political resolution… (Only God knows the wisdom or folly of this, because He only knows the crown might have expected on the religious issues if our rebel forebears had agreed to hold their fire.) Even so, the blood of Biblical Christians flows in many nations at the hands of the same kind of tyrants who have declared independence from the Crown of Messiah Jesus. These tyrants use economics and politics and natural resources to advance their devouring campaign to exterminate Biblical Christianity. No bombs burst in the air for His Banner in those lands… The war is waged with holy fire in prayer, perseverance in the faith, and by firm dependence upon the mercies of God poured out in aid, comfort and courage. And in this blessed land of America, those who deny the sovereign Crown of Messiah Jesus and the authority of His Word are increasing, even as God continues to build His Church. Even though the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church, there will be no bombs bursting in air for His Banner in this land for the life of Biblical Christians who have neither declared independence from the God-ordained leadership of this land in what pertains to its jurisdiction nor from the sovereign Crown of Christ Jesus. The war is being waged now and will continue to be waged as it has always been waged: with holy fire in prayer, in perseverance in the faith, and by firm dependence upon the mercies of the sovereign God whose Crown is above all others…

    Liked by 1 person

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