IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.
"But the language of the American Declaration of Independence makes sense only on the basis of the doctrine of Creation. If God did not endow us with rights...where do they come from? The only alternative is that they are sociological constructions created by the community as expressed in the state. Harold O.J. Brown puts the question very well: 'Can we make whatever laws we please, or are we bound to respect a higher order in human affairs?' The bottom line is that what the state giveth, the state can take away; sociologically generated rights by definition cannot be inalienable. Our only protection from this possibility would be if rights were grounded in something larger and more basic than the state or even than nature. As the founding fathers understood, the only way rights can be 'inalienable' is if they are endowed by the Creator.
"Hence [C.S. ]Lewis is concerned...about the radical ways in which the new secular reductionist view of man erodes traditional barriers to tyranny. When we come to see ourselves merely as part of nature, like other animals, we come to see the human race as something over which to extend our control, as we seek to do with the rest of nature. But the reality is that 'what we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.' And when there is no distinction between man and nature, where is the limitation to that power?
"If we reduce man to an animal or to a machine, thus ignoring our spiritual accountability...then we must not expect ideals like democracy, equality, or justice to be more than words, arbitrary sounds floating in the air. As Gordon Lewis perceptively notes, 'Postmodern thinkers cannot on Monday destroy belief in the universality and necessity of the laws of logic and morality and expect us to protect their human rights on Tuesday.'" - excerpt from Mere Humanity by Donald T. Williams
Have a great and safe Fourth, everyone!!