Independence Thoughts

One of the most celebrated documents in United States history is the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps it’s most celebrated sentence is: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Now a lot of Americans think that those rights are the law of the land, but that’s not the way it is. What the Declaration says is that those rights are so innate that we don’t even need laws to protect them; they are are so much a part of us that any law that did not respect them could not itself be given any respect. It’s that whole “unalienable” part.

As to the “endowed by their Creator” part? God points out to me that everything we have is ultimately, in some sense, endowed by her, so that phrase doesn’t really add anything. What it really is, is just a flowery way of talking and a bit of slight of hand, where they appeal to a higher authority as the source of something as sort of a way of saying, “Hey, it’s out of my hands. If you have an issue with it you’ll have to take it up with God, not me.”

So how does she feel about it? Well, she seems to think of being credited with giving us life, liberty and the right to pursue our own happiness as a lot better than most of the things people like to attribute to her.

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