Translating the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence makes several definitive statements regarding the rights of the people and where those rights come from.  First, the Declaration acknowledges that the source of rights is the Creator, calling them the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
Second, it claims that all men are created equally free to govern their own actions, thus requiring the consent of the governed in order for just government.  Being unwilling to recognize these truths, the British government had failed in it’s sole duty of government of securing the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for the people, according to the Founding Fathers.

These ideals come in direct opposition to modern liberal and Progressive thought.  For instance, the Declaration states that “all men are created equal,” meaning that they are all born with the same human rights that the government needs to respect.  The modern liberal or Progressive definition is that men are not created equal and the government needs to step in via redistribution and make them equal.  These definitions are fundamentally incompatible, and one cannot coexist with the other.

This concept of unequal wealth distribution reflecting the inequality of rights is not simply an idea dreamed up by modern day politicians like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.  Karl Marx, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson are only a few historical names associated with this Progressive ideology.  According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Necessitous men are not free men,” meaning that poor men are not free.  This notion is flawed in that simply because a man is poor does not mean he is prevented by government from being wealthy.  It may mean that circumstances or a down economy caused his lack of wealth. Or it may mean that he is unwilling to do the work in order to be prosperous.  As long as all men have the opportunity to choose what to do with their lives, they are free from government tyranny.


4 thoughts on “Translating the Declaration of Independence

  1. I think the most significant disagreements over the America’s Declaration is what constitutes as tyranny. Generally, conservatives believe that any sort of government intervention is tyranny because if the government can gives something then it can also take it away, which is a valid point. Liberals counter that argument because they believe that there can be positive government intervention; for example, social security for seniors who can no longer work or food stamps for low-income individuals/families.

  2. We agree with you! John Adam’s put it perfectly- “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. [and that] It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    We must know the source of our rights- our Creator. We believe, along with our second president, that capitalism, free enterprise, and liberty – Constitutional Liberty – can only be enjoyed, preserved, protected if such ideals are grounded in something more enduring and permanent than even the our Country’s most sacred founding document.

  3. “Our Creator.”

    ^ That is a a term that symbolizes something different for everybody. America’s founders did not want the country beholden to one specific religious group – they were deists, not Christians. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and others all rejected the doctrines of Christianity and preached their own values. Thomas Jefferson was even accused of being an atheist during the political conflicts of the late-1790’s between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.

    “The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. … Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.” – Thomas Jefferson in his ‘Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

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