Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Faith & Liberty

I suppose most Americans see our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and its Preamble, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as foundational documents of our beliefs as a citizenry. I know I do. ‘Tis strange that each in its own way evokes:
1). A belief in a (one) Supreme Being. And
2). A belief in equality of creation and opportunity rather than an equality of circumstance, and that circumstance being subject to the effort, ability, and fortune of each resident.
Personal liberty seems paramount in our forefather’s writings. Their belief in equal justice before law further enforces thoughts regarding social justice; that: “It is not the obligation of government to insure all its citizens obtain and enjoy the same standard of living.” Unfortunately, however, that is what our system of governance has become and wherein we find ourselves today.

The ideas of those founders created an opportunity for their government’s populace and not the structure itself, to offer a knowledge, understanding and efforts of necessary charity towards their disadvantaged and disenfranchised. A chance for those more fortunate to share of their bounty “by virtue of their human nature and belief; through a heartfelt obligation to their fellow man, rather than by fiat alone”.

Love, and human kindness for that matter, can not be legislated and attempts to do so only doom all to a less selfless nature. When and if we reach the point that individuals concern themselves each with their fellow man as well as those marginalized by society coming to appreciate the efforts on their behalf instead of accepting them as their due, we will have come a long way in solving many of the problems stemming from that inequality of circumstance.

Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human events, …to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, …

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.-…

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, …. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Preamble to the Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. …

… that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom …


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