The Declaration of Independence is under attack by many who would trivialize its importance.
Many citizens of America have given it no attention at all - with many never having read it once during their lives. Masses of Americans have read it one or more times, but dismiss it as a relic.
Large numbers of politicians and government officials overtly attack it through their own activities as office holders or aspiring office holders.
Evidence of the truth of that statement is very prominent, staring us right in the face. That evidence is the so-called Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
You may be among those who support Obamacare. Somehow I doubt it, since any supporters of ACA would hardly be looking at a page on the Declaration of Independence.
But if you somehow support any legislation or other government activities such as Obamacare, please take a little time to consider not only how this terribly drafted train-wreck of a law affects not only those who opposed its passage, but how it negatively affects even those who were supposed to be helped by it.
To do so, just enter this phrase into your browser's search box: obamacare is a train wreck.
Obamacare is really just the tip of the iceberg - an iceberg which has been forming for at least 100 years.
The Declaration of Independence along with the U.S. Constitution have been under attack for closer to 200 years, with the attacks since the beginning of the twentieth century being somewhat more subtle and much more devastating to individual liberties.
The entire situation of slavery of African Americans by whites during the early years of our country's history is a terrible and shameful part of our nation's history.
Its place in our history is undeniable, but its ultimate meaning is still developing.
Meanwhile it's necessary to come to grips with what the equality clause of the Declaration of Independence really means.
Just last week, a Federal District judge quoted the short and famous equality clause and wrongly attributed it to the U.S. Constitution.
She did so while declaring a Virgina law against same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.
Our founding document which declared the colonies of British King George III to be legally separated from the crown says that all men are created equal.
But the Federal judge, who should know better, said that our Constitution makes that statement.
There is no such statement in the U.S. Constitution - but there are numerous statements in the Constitution which are the result of that self-evident truth.
Here's the statement from the Declaration in context:
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.
There's much more to the paragraph containing the above statements -much more of great importance.
But the portion above is possibly the most important and powerful, and probably the most quoted section of the Declaration.
The judge I referred to above incorrectly attributed the all men are created equal clause to the U.S. Constitution, but she was absolutely correct when she said that all surely means all.
The Judge, ruling on a suit brought by two gay men wanting to overturn a Virginia law against same-sex marriage was specifically ruling in favor or those two men, as well as in favor of two women who had joined the suit.
This was a modern case, just decided in February of this year.
We could attack the judge's opinion and ruling because of her confusion on the source of the all men are created equal clause, but it's really fortuitous that this error was made.
I'm sure the same error is made by many, these days - because it's easy to confuse the two founding documents.
But there are many in today's legal and political communities who would relegate the Declaration of Independence to something less than law by asserting that it was a necessary statement for that specific time in history.
When a Federal District Court judge mistakenly identifies a clause from the Declaration of Independence as coming from the U.S. Constitution, she is correctly identifying the two documents as being of nearly equal importance.
It's very easy to confuse the language from one as belonging to the other. Liberty is the goal of both documents.
Timothy Sandefur wrote a book titled The Conscience of the Constitution. It's an ebook which anyone can purchase and download immediately.
It's highly informative and very beneficial for each of us to read and study carefully. I've very much enjoyed reading it, and have learned a lot from it - even though I've read less than half of it so far.
Sandefur lays a very solid base of well-documented information establishing the Declaration of Independence as the conscience of the Constitution.
Here's a wonderful quotation of Abraham Lincoln used by Sandefur in his Introduction:
We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do
not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may
mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the
product of his labor; while with others the same word may
mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and
the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different,
but incompatible things, called by the same name—
liberty. . . . The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s
throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator,
while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the
destroyer of liberty. . . . Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not
agreed upon a definition of the word liberty.
This passage is from a speech Lincoln gave on April 18, 1864.
After quoting Lincoln in the Introduction of his book, Mr. Sandefur goes on to make the following very strong points:
Lincoln understood that while the power to make rules is important, it is not the most basic principle of our constitutional system. The wolf is wrong to imagine that he has a fundamental right to rule others, or that the sheep’s rights are simply whatever the wolf decides to allow. America’s constitutional order is premised on the opposite principle: on the basic right of each person to be free. People are born with liberty; their rights are not privileges that government gives to them as it pleases. Legitimate government is based on, and bound by, their rights, and nobody—no king, no legislature, no democratic majority—has any basic entitlement to control them. Freedom is the starting point of politics; government’s powers are secondary and derivative, and therefore limited.
That principle—the primacy of liberty—was most eloquently
expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
It's obvious that our current President along with his Democrat members of the U.S. Congress, do not give a rat's behind about the limitations of power and legislation placed on them by the U.S. Constitution or the liberty pronounced as every person's birthright by the Declaration of Independence.
We have not actually lost our liberty yet, though many of our fellow Americans certainly have lost it long ago.
The mid-term election for house and senate seats coming up next November is extremely important. We the people must do everything possible to gain a greater Republican majority in the house, and obtain a Republican majority in the Senate.
Once upon a time we could count on some Democrats as being capable of discerning right from wrong with a clear understanding of the limits on government put in place by the Constitution and the importance of individual rights and liberty as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence.
There are also a number of Republicans who have sold out to the existing liberal powerbase of the current regime.
Take time to review the voting records of your senators and representatives - then become active to insure we elect those who will restore liberty for all.
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