Take a Step Back and Breathe: “We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident”
I have almost completely avoided using this blog as a platform for political and religious discourse, but in reading an e-mail from a friend I was reminded of “We the people” from The Preamble of the Constitution. Of course, the School House Rock song, a highly entertaining “commercial” aired between Saturday morning cartoons in the late 70s, immediately helped me finish the quote.
Smiling, I did some more reading, and as I dug in, I realized (was reminded) that it was the Declaration of Independence, and not the Preamble or the Constitution that was the truly great document (after which none other should have been written – all further documents only appear to have removed personal responsibility from the individual, and simply offer loopholes and defenses for abuse via legislation.) Regardless of a person’s political bend, however, or who might be to blame for the current situation, the profundity of this document is like cold, clean, clear water splashed on someone who has just stepped out of the dank, hot jungle. If you have the time, take a moment to read this. Gender bias aside, it is a fantastic read for a day like today.
“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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
P.S. The boys watched Lincoln last night. I look forward to discussing it with them, and looking deeper into the history to explore any “liberties” that the writer and director might have taken in making the film. I couldn’t help feeling, however, that there was a time when the Presidents of the United States wrote speeches that moved people to memorize their words because they were skillfully written, deeply insightful, and inspiring.
P.P.S. Battlefield 4 Beta. It’s up!