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  • A "Living" Declaration?

    President Obama has finally stopped ignoring the Declaration of Independence altogether, but he still seems averse to certain elements of the founding document. In his remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute annual awards gala, President Obama stressed the importance of Hispanics in American history, and declared that what “made us all Americans” was “faith and fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear.”

    He continued: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed…with certain inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. These are indeed unifying truths, but President Obama has taken artistic license with the Declaration. He conspicuously omits “endowed by their Creator”—and instead pauses, scowls, and seems to wait a moment (perhaps until the teleprompter rolls onto the next phrase?).

    This omission should not be surprising. It is consistent with the progressive understanding of government as the true source of rights – a role which validates expanding welfare, universal health care, and, generally, a government that knows what is best for the people. The “living” theory of the Constitution follows directly from the evolving concept of rights advanced by progressives over the course of the twentieth century. The president ought to brief his speech writers regarding the progressive idea of rights. It would save him from such awkward moments.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to A "Living" Declaration?

    1. Mrs.Charles Hayden, says:

      I think President Obama has shown what a mule/donkey/— he really is!

      .

    2. Brad, Chicago says:

      You'd think, of all the groups he could be talking to, that the Hispanic caucus would be the group that would appreciate an allusion to religion. After all, as Carlos Mencia (Hispanic comedian, for those who don't know) has stated, "[they] are the only people that name [their] kids Jesus."

    3. and2therepublic, ill says:

      "A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." … "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." – Thomas Jefferson – Summary View of Rights of British America – August, 1774

    4. Don, Newport RI says:

      "President Obama stressed the importance of Hispanics in American history, and declared that what “made us all Americans” was “faith and fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear…”

      What shared values, exactly? From each according to his ability to each according to his needs? At any rate, it sounds nifty. But my hunch is his faith/fidiliety is to the "shared values" of paternalistic bureaucracy, not The Creator, because he seems to truly choke on the words.

      This is what happens when government becomes god.

    5. and2therepublic, ill says:

      "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson – Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18 – 1781

    6. Billie says:

      It isn't faith (which is personal,) Mr. President. What makes us all Americans is the fidelity to the shared respect and value of America's rule of law. As individuals in a free country, this is the only thing we need to have in common that you're destroying, Mr. President!

      The Creator endowed mankind with a mind to reason and the ability to choose. Some pathological people in political power abuse their ability to restrict reason and conflict matter on innocent minds.

      As reasonable people believe the Creator is much greater than man, man cannot endow inalienable rights, Mr President, as you seem to imply. Man can alienate rights anytime your mind decides to, MR. President. The more evil a man, the more he will.

    7. Al K. in California says:

      Anna writes: "This omission should not be surprising. It is consistent with the progressive understanding of government as the true source of rights – a role which validates expanding welfare, universal health care, and, generally, a government that knows what is best for the people."

      As in:

      Ronald Reagan: "He (MLK Jr.) made it possible for our nation to move closer to the ideals set forth in our Declaration of Independence: that all people are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights that government has the duty to respect and protect."

      Dwight Eisenhower: "Two hundred years, lacking sixteen, have passed since our forefathers proclaimed to the world the truths they held self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that governments are instituted among men to secure those rights, deriving their just powers only from the consent of the governed."

      Calvin Coolidge: "Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed."

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