In past 4th's of July I would've wanted to raise a respectable mug of homemade root beer to the Doctrine and Covenants for giving me a civics lesson. Discussing religious freedom and liberty, it reads in Section 101, verse 80:
"I [the Lord] established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose..."
God said he raised up wise men to establish the constitution, so that "every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency." (v. 78)
What were the morals, doctrines and principles of these wise men of Constitution establishment?
According to Kevin Bleyer at the Daily Beast:
"Our Constitution was written by men who owned breweries and imported whiskey—fine businesses both—but also imbibed those products to an astounding degree, and then humped cows in the streets. The amount of staggering was staggering." (Life, Liberty and the Founding Father's Pursuit of Hoppiness)
Many of us have heard several of the founders had problems keeping it in their pants. In the book, The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers, author Thomas Fleming details infidelities by George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Franklin, for example, led a polygamous life with two "wives," -- one in London and one in Philadelphia. Washington carried a secret with Sally Cary Fairfax behind Martha's back. Hamilton and Jefferson had adulterous relationships, the latter with his black slave Sally Hemings.
What some of you may not have known are the excesses in drinking that raged at Constitutional Hall. Bleyer states there is evidence that:
"Almost all the Framers imbibed. Most didn’t just drink beer...the fact remains, they drank beer for breakfast. While writing the Constitution. Don’t believe any claims they weren’t binge-drinkers and were just letting off a little steam—again, and I can’t stress this enough, they did so while delicately crafting our basic system of laws. After they finished the four months of drunken civic-mindedness, the 55 men who were about to sign the document piled into Philadelphia’s City Tavern on Friday, September 14, 1787 and guzzled enough booze to fell a stack of elephants: 60 bottles of claret, 54 bottles of Madeira, 50 bottles of “old stock,” vats of porter, cider, and beer, and what has been described as “some” bowls of rum punch. So raucous did the celebration get that City Tavern took the unusual step of sending along a bill for “breakage.” "
When God said he raised wise men for the purpose of framing the US Constitution, I think of God winking at us to raise a pint to and with the writers. These guys would outdo most frat parties, by the sound of it. Perhaps God likes him some partying.
So celebrate your 4th of July like the founders did if you will. It's okay if you Mormons raise a mug of root beer, but the framers would laugh at you.
“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
--1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by Founding Father John Adams