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.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
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Those revolutionary, disruptive, even subversive words are excerpted from the Declaration of Independence of a territory that would, after a war, become the United States of America. These words come right after the preamble (which explains what they are going to say) and right before the authors enumerated their (many) grievances against King George, et al.
Of course it goes without saying that we, as a nation, are still growing into those words. We used to have private ownership of slaves, now we do not. Women used to be excluded from having their voices heard at the ballot box now they are not. Political, ethnic, racial and religious minorities were routinely and legally excluded from fully participating in society, now they are not.
We have undoubtedly come a long way, and just as assuredly, we still have a long way to go. But isn’t that rather the point? Lofty words such as these function to establish goals that are, by definition, always just beyond our reach.
The problem we have today is that too many people are more concerned with feeling good about themselves than they are about growing into anything. Consequently, they set small goals, but, failing to meet even those, they in the future set still smaller goals. In the end, it seems like the only goal to survive this constant dumbing down is the goal to “only do what makes me feel good right now.”
But what happens when that intent is thwarted? The traumatized victim throws a temper tantrum like the petulant little child that they (emotionally) are. For example, consider the video of a hysterical woman sitting on the ground and screaming, in a theatrical attempt to drown out the sound of a U.S. President being sworn into office.
By the way, the word “hysterical” has two possible meanings, and both are applicable here.
But I digress: my point in this post is to talk to the remaining adults and point out that the woman in the video wasn’t just screaming “NO” at the man taking the oath. She was screaming “NO” at the process that put him in office. She was screaming “NO” at everyone who voted for him. She was screaming “NO” at the right of a free people to freely decide whom they want to have lead them. Therefore, in a sense, she was screaming “NO” at people who are longing for freedom anywhere on this planet.
The basic (self-evident) truth is that the Creator of humankind bestowed on all of His creation the same right of self-determination, so “NO” to one is “NO” to all. Unfortunately, the alternative to an “unalienable right” is temporary “permission” from a despotic government.
The job of proper government is not to bestow rights – that function is, in fact, unnecessary. The proper role of government is to protect, here on earth, the rights that we received as a gift from on high. Rights which include, among other things, “… Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”
In Christ, Amen ☩
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A prayer for when you are feeling grateful for your freedom…
“Blessed are You, Lord God, King of the Universe. It is right that I should at all times and in all circumstances bless You for the unalienable rights that You bestow upon all people. But today I want to bless You especially for blessings of prosperity that, despite our many flaws, You continue to shower over us. Amen.”