If my math is correct, it has been 241 years ago that the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The document was drafted by a committee made up of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.
Without question, the most progressive if not the most “otherworldly” statement in the Declaration is:
The preamble to the Declaration states:
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 …
If Only We Lived In A Perfect World
The founders’ belief that individual rights pre-exist the establishment of a man-made government in and of itself is a revolutionary concept. The Declaration begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” This most powerful reference to the aspects of the statement, “self-evident truths,” points to a spiritual worldview that suggests that the founders used in the construction of the Declaration of Independence.
Idealistically if not naive, the authors who crafted this socio-political document implied that these “self-evident truths,” have a universal appeal. Included in these universal truths is the idea, “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.”
This statement insists if not wishfully imply that all life is important and that all lives matter. In this world, at least, philosophically and idealistically, no one life is more valuable than the next, and that—by virtue of sharing the same rights—no individual has the authority to rule over or oppress another.
Moreover, the equal rights shared by all humans are “unalienable.” They cannot be taken away. This is because they are granted not by any man or institution but rather they are “endowed” upon individuals by their Creator. Only the One who grants rights has the authority to take them away.
[ the above ideas and thoughts came about after reading Matthew Clemente’s article “Freedom Work” written 07/05/2010]
“Whenever any Form of Government Becomes Destructive Of These Ends.”
The Founding Fathers like each of us are human beings that wish for the best yet also realize that human beings will fail. Thus the above quotation is added in the Declaration by providing a corrective measure for the people when the government either abuse their power or misinterpret or misrepresent the power that they have.
Over the last 241 years in America, just how were we all as sinful and fallen creatures were expected to pull this off? And just how good or horrible are we doing in 241 years later?
[just a very brief summation without extensive supportive data]
- For the masses in America, belief and ultimate dependency in God/Creator is not self-evident, in reality, faith in God is at an all-time low.
- The evil ideology that was the seed beds that produced all wars, namely the”race wars and class wars” have proven that 241 years later, that all humans are not equal thus all lives do not matter.
- America even during the crafting of The Declaration of Independence was wrongfully participating in the slave trade along with other nations that willfully and systemically legalized oppression of human lives for profit. Within this same vein, millions of human beings have been denied their unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Without Clear Understanding…
Perhaps from day one in 1776, up to the year 2017, there has been a mammoth misunderstanding of the difference between what the Holy Scriptures say about the lives of the people as opposed to what the US Constitution communicates. Which one of the two has supremacy over the lives of the individual, family and or nation?
There are quite a few similarities between the Bible and the US Constitution. So much so, some people can’t distinguish the differences. But there are quite a few differences worth noting as well. Probably the most obvious and ominous similarity to the Bible and the Constitution is that they are extremely divisive. There are very strong feelings on both sides of the equation.
Without a clear understanding between the two, how can we correctly interpret both thus applying the intended meaning to the lives of each free moral human being?
Similarities between the Bible and the US Constitution
- Both are standards for laws and ethics
- They are sources of authority
- Politicians swear on both of them
- Liberals misinterpret them
- Conservatives over-analyze them
- Both were written by men who fear the Judeo-Christian God
- Both were written in a time of slavery but signify nothing condemning owning another person.
- A lot of people have a general idea about it, but don’t actually study it.
- Bringing it up in a conversation is sure to get the response, “Here goes the Fundy again.”
- People constantly misquote and misrepresent both.
Differences between the Bible and the US Constitution
- One is primarily concerned with the ethical rights of all – The other is primarily concerned with the moral depravity of all and the redemption of Jesus Christ
- One concerns regional earthly jurisdiction – The other, global spiritual jurisdiction
- One contains inspiring insight – The other is inspired foresight
- One, The words of a nation under God – The other, The Word of God over all nations
- One is the basis for a Democracy – The other is the basis for a Theocracy.
[Similarity and differences between the Bible and US Constitution were the work of https://worthyofthegospel.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/soapbox-comparing-the-bible-and-the-us-constitution/
Forty-nine years ago, on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In his suitcase was a copy of some of his collected sermons titled Strenght to Love. From that Book and King’s sermon came this quote:
The Church must be reminded that it is not the Master or Servant of the State, but rather the conscience of the State. It must be the Guide and Critic of the State, and never its tool. If the Church does not recapture its prophetic zeal it will become an irrelevant social club withou morals or spiritual authority.
Grace and Peace
Alonzo E. Thornton, D.Min.