I would like to wish my fellow countrymen a happy 4th of July, otherwise known as Happy Independence Day! On this day, I want to remind you that America – as it was founded – is an exceptional nation, but not in the way so many think of the term today. It is not that the people of this nation are any better than those of the rest of the world; that is not what I mean by exceptional. It is that the idea behind this nation is the exception to the rule. America is unique in two ways. It is the first nation to be founded on the idea that people can rule themselves, as a self-governing republic. But it is also the second nation to ever be dedicated to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the first to have willingly committed itself to Him without His direct command. In both respects, the nation our founders created was exceptional, and to the extent that we have strayed from their original principles and ideals, we have suffered the consequences. So, today, as you enjoy the holiday festivities, I would ask you to also spend a few moments reflecting on what our founders told us would happen to our liberty if – as a nation — we were to ever turn from God.