- Feb 26, 2007
Contrary to popular belief, the Declaration of Independence is not a foundational document; it was a declaration of war - and a pretty piece of propaganda!
I find that I have a bit more to say with regard to this most basic misunderstanding of the legality of our founding documents. Perhaps if you get to the most basic level of your misunderstanding of the nature of our founding and of the legal system that arose from that founding, you will come to realize that your present understanding is no more than a fabrication of your own making. Or maybe you wont.
"...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,..."
This passage, as you know, is from the Declaration of Independence. What you don't seem to know is that it was, and still is a legal document, and it does have real bearing on present legal matters.
The Declaration was, undeniably, the constitutional law of this nation for certain purposes. It freed the people from their loyalty to the king of England for example. In fact, it was declared so by the judicial tribunals of this country. No American during the Revolutionary war, or since could be legally tried on this soil for treason to the king. It stands to reason that if the Declaration were the constitutional law of the nation for that purpose, then it was also the constitutional law for the purpose of recognizing and establishing, as law, the inalienable right of everyone on these shores to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness does it not?
The lawfulness of the people disavowing their loyalty to the king was agreed upon by the people of this nation and that act was made legal by the instrument that declared that the rebellion; and it’s authority rested squarely upon, and was, in itself a consequence of the right that all men had to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If the act of rebellion against the king was determined to be lawful, then it becomes very difficult to argue that the principles that legalized the act did not become the law. Furthermore, when the country ratified the act of freeing themselves from the crown, did they not also, by definition, ratify and acknowledge the principles that they declared made the revolution legal?
So, whether the Declaration was the law for a year, or just one day, it established that in this nation, all men had an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From that point forward, for anyone claiming otherwise, the burden falls upon them to establish that the right has been constitutionally taken away, and to do that, he (or she) is going to have to show a deliberate constitutional description of the particular individuals who have had their inalienable right abolished.
Simply stated, the people of this country, in the instrument by which they first announced their political independence from the king and declared their right to establish a government of their own also declared that the inalienable right of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was a ”SELF EVIDENT TRUTH”.
Self evident truths, except those which are explicitly denied are taken for granted and constitute a fundamental part of all constitutions, compacts and systems of government. If we did not take for granted self evident truths it would be impossible for any orderly government to be established because it would be impossible to make an actual inventory of all of the self evident truths that are to be taken into account in the administration of a government. This is especially true of governments as we have here in the US that are founded upon a contract. It is impossible in a contract of government to list all of the self evident truths that would have to be acted upon in the administration of the law and therefore they are all taken for granted EXCEPT for the ones that have been plainly denied.
The principle that self evident truths (even those not enumerated) make a part of all laws and contracts unless they are clearly refused is not only necessary to the very existence of a civil society, but it is a prerequisite to the administration of justice in each and every case that may arise out of a contract or other arrangement between individuals. As with government, it would be impossible for us to make contracts at all if it were going to be necessary to list each and every self evident truth that might have some bearing on their contract before a judge. Because of this, self evident truths are taken for granted out of legal necessity.
Governments have no more right to deny self evident truths than individuals in any case. To deny that self evident truths are part of the law is no different than arguing that self evident deception is part of the law.
So if, according to our founders, it is a self evident truth that all men have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that truth must be present in all of our laws and all of our constitutions except in caes where it has been unmistakably and precicely denied.
With the vote for independence from england and the ratification of the Declaration of Independence on 07/04/1776 a new entity was created. That entity was the USA. In the Declaration, the purpose of government is identified and laid out. That purpose was defined as securing the inalienable rights that we have as human beings.
One of our most basic rights is the free exercise of our religion and calling on religious philosophy in policy making decisions is included in that free exercise. I am still waiting for you to demonstrate a constitutional separation of religion and state. Evidently it is not forthcoming.