LIFE, LIBERTY, and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…


Our Founding Fathers were adamant that all people had certain inalienable and unalterable rights that came directly from our Creator, not the government.  In our Declaration of Independence, this was specified.  The words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” leave no question as to their recognition of certain rights and their unwillingness to accept less.  Why should we be any different today in America?

Those incredibly wise and detailed men continued saying, “…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.”  It is astounding to me that some in politics today believe that the government has the right to trample, suspend, or modify those rights.  THEY DO NOT! 

The government has no right to tell any American citizen what they can think or even what they can say.  The only caveat is that if what we are saying is inciting riots and inducing sedition thereby endangering our Republic and our people the government can and should intervene. Intervention is a difficult task because it can only mean keeping the public safe not developing a politically correct thought and speech police force.  If anyone becomes a threat to others, they are impeding that person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

The government our Founders established was to always intended to be ‘by the consent of the governed’ not ‘vice versa’.  The government exists and operates, with the consent of the governed.  We are the ones charged with the oversight of the government, not the government charged with the oversight of us.  That is what the federal government has morphed into and poses a serious threat against our liberty and our designed system of government.

Politicians of all stripes seem to have developed or adopted the idea that they are our overseers and in the words of some, “the guardians of our democracy.”  The fallacy in that view is, in part, due to the fact that so few seem to understand that we are not a ‘direct democracy’ but a ‘republic’ with representative government.  A second, fallacy in that line of thought is that the elected politicians seem to think that they are our lords and ladies.  They are not!  They are elected to represent us not to rule us.

One of the roots from which this type of thinking has grown has been our modern educational system where Civics, Government, and History are taught incorrectly or inadequately.  I have discussed our system of government with people holding Ph.D.’s in history. Some of them teach, in our universities but do not understand our system of government.  Let me rephrase that, they may understand it but they disagree with it and their failure to teach true history, civics, and government are dangerous.

When our youth enter college, they are usually at an age and life experience that opens them to deception far more than people with larger life experiences.  They are at a time in their lives when their minds are pliable and moldable.  That is one of the reasons the Bible instructs in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  That’s why in Deuteronomy 6 and 11 that we are to teach our children and family all the time and everywhere.  The directive is to make God and His Law a part of everyday life and use life experiences and situations to impress upon our children God’s Principles of Life. 

The principle upon which our American Revolution was fought was rooted in the idea and ideal of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  It often seems that we have lost sight of that objective, principle, and guide in our lives, government, and interpersonal relationships.  Sadly, politics and politicians have devotedly sought to eliminate God, the Bible, and all things related to our Judeo-Christian heritage from the public square.  We have banned God and symbols representing God and the Bible from the public square insisting that we are following the Founder’s desire of ‘separation of church and state.’  I contend we have done so wrongly and without fully comprehending what they proposed and desired.

Without getting into a debate on the doctrine of ‘separation of church and state’ let me address the three basic principles expressed in our Declaration of Independence and interwoven in our Constitution.  Those are, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Maybe I should say “the Inalienable Right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The right that did not and cannot come from government but comes from our Creator.  That is a higher law and our founders recognized and acknowledged it.

The insistence of our Founders was that the government should never be allowed to ‘touch’ those rights.  The government did not give them, and the government cannot take them away, constitutionally, biblically, or morally…  Today, politicians on both sides of the political aisle seem to have completely lost sight of that truth and our founder’s intent. 

It is a growing reality that many in politics and among the populace seem to no comprehension of those three things.  If everyone has the right to “Life”, what do we do with abortion or other forms of genocide?  If everyone has the right to “Liberty”, what do we do with attempts to strip us of our Rights of Freedom of Speech, Assembly, self-defense, private property, and thought?  If everyone has the right to “Pursue Happiness”, we need to comprehend several things. 

What is happiness?  That is probably the most subjective of all three founding principles.  What is happiness for one is not for another.  Some even have the idea that it is the government’s task to ‘make us happy.’  Benjamin Franklin’s statement is germane and apropos, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself.” 

It would be beneficial for us to study each of those principles and understand that embedded in them is the idea of “Freedom.”  Freedom to Live.   Freedom to enjoy Liberty.  Freedom to Pursue Happiness.  Freedom is part of the founding fabric of our Republic and if we lose Freedom, we lose everything.  Our Founding Fathers and the patriots of our Republic we willing to risk everything in the pursuit of that precious gem of life.

If we are to be Free and enjoy and employ our Inalienable Rights, we must cast off the tyrannical restraints of despotic government.  We must reject the idea of an all-powerful central government that has the ability to do what only God can do.  We must reject the idea that we are servants of the government rather than the government being created to serve us.  One major Political Party more than the other wants “Massive Government” the other a somewhat “Less Powerful Central Government.” 

We have a mountain to climb to reach the pinnacle of Freedom that we had and can have again in America.  In today’s world there can be no such thing as ambivalent apathetic citizens.  There is, but if we are to be the Free People and have the government our Founder’s established, we must become involved.  I ask you to become involved and vote for Freedom!

God bless you and God bless America!

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