June 15, 1215
Today I read a facebook post from World Atlas regarding the history of the Magna Carta. It was on June 15, 1215, that Barons in England posed the document on England’s King John that he could no longer live above the law. Regretfully, Pope Innocent III told him he would not have to abide by it. That’s how powerful the Pope was in those times. (Admit it, the Pope is still very powerful.)
The oppression of the Church and the King of England led to persecutions beyond belief. It was really what we would consider an awful time for Believing Christians. If you want to read some hair-raising stuff, just study the lives of those who fled from England during that time. But, I digress. My freedom, which I sometimes take so glibly, was purchased at the price of those who fled England. Men who made their way to North America in search of freedom from oppressive monarchs and popes. Men like William Bradford.
Before the souls of those on the Mayflower came ashore, they established the Mayflower Compact. More than a hundred years later, another document assured my freedom: The Declaration of Independence. On Memorial Day I wrote a piece about Puryer Reeves, a man in our family, who fought for individual rights to be established and for a permanent break between England and what we know now as the United States of America.
Then a more permanent document under the hands of John Madison and his coworkers came into being: the Constitution of the United States of America. The document is so solid that it has survived now since 1789, March 4. That document was fraught with heated arguments and debates. Federalists and Anti-federalists let their opinions fly on pages of newspapers. In spite of flaws here and there, our Constitution has endured.
Yes, it is written in language sometimes called, legalese but anyone with fifth grade reading ability can read and understand this beloved document. With, or without this document, my freedom in Christ is assured. Our American government founders knew that, but they further secured freedoms for all Americans and not just a few. I applaud them today. I applaud those brave men who first approached a highhanded King John with the Magna Carta. They emboldened those who followed in their steps. A good day to remember: June 15, 1215.