Happy America Day!

Maybe today would be a nice time to re-read (some of) our founding document, The Declaration of Independence, and consider seriously its implications:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and 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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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...

"It may seem something less than a compliment to compare the American Constitution to the Spanish Inquisition. But oddly enough, it does involve a truth; and still more oddly perhaps, it does involve a compliment. The American Constitution does resemble the Spanish Inquisition in this: that it is founded on a creed. America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just. It certainly does condemn anarchism, and it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived. Nobody expects a modern political system to proceed logically in the application of such dogmas, and in the matter of God and Government it is naturally God whose claim is taken more lightly. The point is that there is a creed, if not about divine, at least about human things."

-G.K.Chesterton,"What I Saw in America"

It seems to me undeniable to the rational observer that G. K. Chesterton is quite correct. The system of government that we have is built upon certain philosophical or ideological (even 'religious') presuppositions. Those suppositions are clearly and plainly articulated by Mr. Jefferson and endorsed by all the signing Founding Fathers. That they are denied today as a matter of course in much of the intellectual and cultural elite may say something about the philosophical incoherence of our contemporary cultural and political situation.

There can, according to the Declaration of July 4 1776, be no 'human rights' without the Creator God to serve as their source. It is for this reason that I believe rational coherency demands that our public institutions remain nominally theistic/deistic in character (that is not necessarily to say "Christian" in character). But then, rational coherency is not so highly valued in a society that is perhaps more swayed by slogans oft-repeated than by clear reason.



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