Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Independence from Central Authority

I'm proud to say that none of my ancestors killed other human beings
for the illusion of independence.

My Doty ancestors were pre-American Revolution, who came to North
America seeking peace and freedom from government oppression. The Lewis
line into which Anne Doty married were descendants of Puritans who came
to the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1634 to escape oppressive central
government and religious rule. They did not seek independence; they
formed communities based on mutual aid, freedom from centralized rule
and embracing a society based on peace, respect for one another and
religious morals, including, most especially, the Sixth Commandment,
Thou Shall not Kill.

My Lewis ancestors became Mormons and traveled across Ohio, Illinois,
Missouri and Iowa and as respected elders formed a community of mutual
aid and self-reliance. None of my Lewis ancestors took up arms to visit
war on other people.

My DeWolf ancestors were dedicated to peace, tolerance and civil
rights. My Great Uncle, Harold DeWolf taught Martin Luther King in
seminary, and Dr. King repeatedly told others that Dr. DeWolf was
instrumental in setting him on a path of peace and mutual respect. The
Dewolfs have been great missionaries, bringing a message of love and
peace to people around the globe.

July 4 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. Recall the words of this document written:

"in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies,
solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of
Right ought to be Free and Independent States;

Free and Independent States, of course, does not mean a centralized
government. It was only later that a strong federal government was
established, over the objection of a large number of citizens of the
several states, speaking from a tradition of local self-reliance and
mutual aid.

And finally, ending with a statement in support of each other against
the tyranny of a central government.

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred
Honor."

Thus, the Declaration of Independence is a statement of self-reliance
and mutual aid among the members of the several states, not a
declaration of separateness from the rest of humanity. We are a nation
of pacifists, who wish first and foremost to be left far from the grasp
of politicians, petty tyrants and corporate overseers.

If the 4th of July stands for anything, it stands for the hopes and
dreams of our ancestors to live in free and independent states, free of
the tyranny of central rule.

Such is my hope for my descendants.

Michael Alan Lewis
11th generation lineal male descendant of Edmond lewis of Lynn,
Massachusetts