Godlessness in High Places

Last Wednesday evening President Obama addressed members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute at the organization’s 33rd Annual Award Gala. According to the Huffington Post, the First Lady put on her glam, but it’s what her husband said that’s now going viral on the internet.

The distinguished Constitutional scholar made reference to the opening words of the Declaration of Independence, but he left something out. Specifically, he said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The quote is very soon after the 22:00 minute mark.

Did you notice what was missing? The the actual quotation is: “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.” (emphasis added by me)

This is no small matter. America was the first nation on the planet, except perhaps ancient Israel, which recognized that rights are inherent to individuals because they’re people created in the image of God. In other words, the rights begin with God, and the State is obligated to recognize them. They do not begin with the State or any king, legislature, or president. They begin with God. This is foundational to freedom.

I have no designs on discussing the President’s personal religious beliefs here. What I want to put the spotlight on is his rewording of this central phrase from America’s Declaration of Independence. Either this omission was (a) intentional and calculated, or (b) unintentional, a simple oversight. What do you think? And why?

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3 Comments on “Godlessness in High Places

  1. Terrell: You are like a broken record. You criticize Obama about everything! You parrot the half-truths of Fox News demagogues like Hannity, Beck, Palin and O’Reilly.

    Firstly, the President wasn’t quoting the Declaration of Independence, he was saying that we as Americans (no matter where we came from) share the value that all people are created equal and entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Secondly, his job is “to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.” This applies to all Americans whether they believe in God or not. One’s views on religion and God are irrelevant to being afforded equal rights and the privileges of citizenship.

    You and your ilk continually try to force your religious beliefs on others — as if it’s relevant to being an American. Our constitution protects religions from government and the government from religion.

    I’m sure your loyal followers (the mostly right-wingers who follow your blog) will let me have it. I actually miss it — since you banned me and my ideas from your Facebook Page.


  2. Well, hello there Dr. Zendle. Long time, no communique. Thank you for letting me have it. Criticism is good for the intellect.

    Curious criticism, “You and your ilk continually try to force your religious beliefs on others.” That could make for some interesting discussion material.

    But I have to straighten out the issue about facebook. I did not and have not banned you or your ideas from anything – facebook, this blog, or even regular email. As for facebook, you defriended me.

    To refresh your memory, it was in May. You had posted an article on my wall – it had to do with Mark Souder. A discussion ensued, I posed some questions in response to one of your comments, you didn’t answer them, and on the following day, we weren’t “friends” anymore.

    Interesting that you say you miss it.


  3. I don’t remember de-friending you, but if that’s what happened, I apologize for remembering it differently. (As I near my retirement in 3 months, the brain doesn’t work as well as it used to!)

    So, I’ll send you another friend request on Facebook.


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