The wonderful Declaration of Independence is still in effect today. It has not passed away, no matter that it is over two centuries old. The fundamentals are still strong and solid, even though they are ignored on a regular basis by our leaders. But, that’s another post altogether.
The Declaration of Independence (DoI) is the “why” of America. It defines us, as a nation. Nothing that comes after can contradict it. If the country were a corporation, this would be the mission statement. The Constitution is the “how.” For a corporation, that would be the by-laws. As with a corporation, the by-laws cannot contradict the mission statement. Thus, the Constitution could not contradict the Declaration…and neither may any lower laws.
Has this always been followed to a “T”? Nope. But, it has been followed much more closely than it is today. In fact, starting with Woodrow Wilson (can’t STAND that guy!!), the elites and leaders of the country encouraged people to not even read the entire first part of the DoI, you know, the part that defines where rights come from? Yeah, that part.
Anyway, in the DoI asserts that “all men are created equal…”
So, what did the author and signers of this document mean by “equal”? Did they mean everyone should have the same amount of stuff? Did they mean that everyone has the same attributes, must be seen as equally talented or beautiful, or that they should all have the same likes or dislikes? Let’s read just a bit more.
“…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” AHA! A clue! These are rights they are talking about, not stuff. Well, what kind of rights do they discuss? Oh, the suspense!!
“that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Egad, they don’t even mention jobs and houses, do they? Huh. Well, how can everyone be EQUAL if they don’t have the same things, look the same, believe all the same things, live the same way, etc.?
They are equal in the application of laws and freedom to exercise rights. No matter if you are famous, poor, rich, a politician, a lawyer…anyone and everyone…has the right to live. Unless a person has committed a crime, and been found guilty through due process in a court of justice, and that is bad enough to warrant the death penalty, no one can legally kill you. Period. THAT is equality.
No matter how in debt you are, how poor you are, or who rich you are; no matter the color of your skin; and no matter what your religion is, no one can keep you captive, unless you have committed a crime worthy of imprisonment, and only then can it be done by the governing body, never an individual. THAT is equality.
If you have enough money to buy a thing, that is your thing. You have the right to own it, and no one can take it from you, legally. Used to be that the lowest classes had no right to private property ownership. In this country, they made sure to lay into the very foundations of the nation the natural rights that we have been given by our Creator, and in this way, safeguard them from other humans thinking they can just take what is yours.
If you are born poor in this country, and you work hard (and work smart), you can become as rich and influential as you please. Before this country was founded, only those born to money had any hope of ever having a life of leisure. Only those born into certain families had a chance of being able to study what they pleased, unless they had the outstanding fortune of being taken in by a noblewoman who wished to help a poor soul. If every noblewoman did this, that would have been admirable, but there were so many more of the “common folk” that there was no hope for just about everyone else.
THIS is what our DoI is making clear: we are all equal in our Creator’s sight, we have all been given equal rights. There is no hyphen. The Creator did not give women’s rights, minority rights, or any other broken label. He gave EQUAL rights, and the color of your skin, your gender, your bank account balance, and your ethnicity is of no consequences. That’s why the statue of Justice is blindfolded: justice is to be blind, and therefore applied equally.
To do otherwise is to reject the concept of equal rights, and instead institute preferred or lesser classes in a country that was created to do away with classes altogether.
Know where you stand.
And, buy a copy of my book (link to the right, top of the page) and understand the entire DoI…with cartoons…how cool is that?