Thursday, April 10, 2014
I - INALIENABLE RIGHTS
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
These word were penned over two hundred years ago by Thomas Jefferson. They are from the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Jefferson went on to assert that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed. That belief forms the basis of our current form of government.
You may recall from your history classes that at the time these words were penned the standard form of governance was monarchy, a king. It was believed that ALL power rested in the king. Our founding fathers declaration to the contrary turned this paradigm on it’s head. Our founding fathers’ position prevailed. It took the Revolutionary War for it to prevail, but prevail it did.
“...endowed by their Creator...” means that our rights are God given. They come from Almighty God, not the government. Therefore they cannot rightfully be taken away by any government. Our founding fathers obviously believed in God and that we are all subject to Him. They also believed that He is the source of our inalienable rights.
Inalienable means “Incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another.” That means that they are ours and that we cannot give them away. Furthermore, as already stated, they cannot be taken away either.
The right to life and the right to liberty are explicit and easily understood. The right to pursue happiness, however, is somewhat less so. It is important to understand that we are endowed with a right to “pursue happiness” and not to a right “be happy.” We have the right to do whatever we want that we believe will bring us happiness, but the responsibility to be happy rests with us. I submit that happiness is often a choice we make. Happiness is a subjective assessment and not an objective fact.
So today, choose to live life! Choose to live free! Choose to live happy! God bless you!