Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


"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 sentence is not about Constitutional guarantees, nor are they even Constitutional issues. They were a Jeffersonian philosophy defining the main issues that fomented the American Revolution, and he put them to paper in the Declaration of Independence.

Looking at that sentence logically, we know immediately that all men are not created equal in neither the physical, intellectual nor emotional sense. Jefferson was talking about the equality of their God given rights! And it's not just "men" who have these rights, women have them as well. "Men" was the predominant term in the 1700's because women had few officially sanctioned and supported rights at that time. In fact, in 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified proclaiming that all citizens were granted the protections of the Constitution against unjust state laws. This Amendment was also the first to define "citizens" and "voters" as "male." It wasn't until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote in the United States, after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

The "right to Life" should be obvious, inasmuch as we have laws prohibiting the unlawful taking of a human life. The only discussion now appears to be one of establishing beyond any question precisely when "life" begins. That's a subject for an entirely different blog.

The "right to Liberty" would insure our ability to come and go freely. We should remain unrestrained and unmolested in our travels within the United States, and need not request permission from anyone to move freely from point to point within those borders. This right, and all the others, are guaranteed by the Articles of our Constitution!

Which takes me to the "right to the pursuit of Happiness". Evidently this one is a bit difficult for some people to grasp. It is not a right to always be happy, and to think so would be an indication of mental deficiency. The English dictionary defines "pursuit" thus:
transitive verb
1 : to follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, or defeat
2 : to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish : seek
The implication here is that one must take action, or chase after a thing to be pursuing it. We do that through personal effort, using whatever physical, mental or emotional skills and talents with which we were blessed and/or developed. Pursue does not mean we sit on our butt and wait for happiness to come wandering by so we can grab a handful. It means that you have a right, through you own efforts, to chase after those things which you feel will bring you "happiness". You do not have a right to take from someone else without just compensation, nor do you have the right to take rewards from the taxed labors of others. When the ants tire of supporting the grasshopper, the grasshopper will eaten by them. And, as William Shakespeare wrote, "Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much; such men are dangerous."

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