The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription
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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security...
The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Lately, especially in the media and social networks, I feel that a person is truly not afforded his or her constitutional rights of freedom. Too often then not a person is dragged through the mud both in public and through the media without a fair shake. For instance, Phil Robertson, of the Duck Dynasty, has been removed from the successful television show - Duck Dynasty. He was asked for his views on sin and here is what he said. According to an article published in the:
Christian Science Monitor: 'Duck Dynasty' in peril over Phil Robertson suspension. Why did this happen? The family at the center of A&E's 'Duck Dynasty' said they may not be able to go on without clan patriarch Phil Robertson. His remarks on homosexuality illustrate a cultural divide in America. By Patrik Jonsson, Staff Writer / December 20, 2013
The Christian Science Monitor, Weekly Digital Edition. In a statement issued late Thursday, the Robertson clan at the center of the show said they may not be able to go on after A&E suspended Phil Robertson for his blunt scriptural interpretations. “We have had a successful working relationship with A&E, but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm,” the Robertson family said in a prepared statement. “We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.” Robertson’s commentary, where he compares homosexuality to sins like “bestiality,” sparked a wildfire debate in the blogosphere about free speech, civil rights, and religious values. The flap also has come to epitomize what some academics have identified as a cultural gulf separating America’s coastal urban power centers and a rural America that remains steeped in hunting, fishing, and churchgoing. “This moment definitely says something about where we are as Americans,” says Rob Weiner, a pop culture expert at Texas Tech University. “For so long … the more traditional sort of down-home Christian good ol’ boy, living off the land, hasn’t been seen. Now that he has, he’s touched a nerve. A lot of people find the show entertaining, but equal numbers of people find it offensive – the killing of animals and things like that.” Gay rights advocates, for one, applauded the decision by A&E to suspend Phil. “What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.” But the backlash caused its own backlash from Duck Dynasty fans, who asked why, in a country founded on Judeo-Christian precepts, is someone being punished for artfully stating scripture? “We all need to be out there promoting and protecting the heart of America,” said Sarah Palin. “We can do that by showing support for ‘Duck Dynasty.’ ”
Here is one question for you, are the laws in a country promoted by inherent values that are granted to us by God of the universe? How and where are we given this moral compass to forge laws in our nations? By what inherent right do we have to force laws on people? Where, from the age of 3, do we get this sense of right and wrong from?
When was homosexuality illegal in all 50 states? According to Wikipedia (yes, I just quoted Wikipedia), "Sodomy laws in the United States: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Sodomy laws in the United States, which outlawed a variety of sexual acts, were historically universal. While they often targeted sexual acts between persons of the same-sex, many statutes employed definitions broad enough to outlaw certain sexual acts between persons of different sexes as well, sometimes even acts between married persons. Through the 20th century, the gradual liberalization of American sexual morals led to the elimination of sodomy laws in most states. During this time, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986. However, in 2003 the Supreme Court reversed the decision with Lawrence v. Texas, invalidating sodomy laws in the remaining 14 states (Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia). Prior to 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state, punished by a lengthy term of imprisonment and/or hard labor. In that year, the Model Penal Code (MPC) — developed by the American Law Institute to promote uniformity among the states as they modernized their statutes." This isn't conjecture, nor an opinion, but actual laws in the United States of America that were against sodomy.
So this begs the question of our Bill of Rights given to us by our founding fathers: Why should any citizen of the United States be condemned or shunned for his or her right to freedom of speech? I will put it this way: As a consumer and a taxpayer, if there is anything that I do not like then I have choices: 1) I can choose not to endorse that product or politician 2) I can avoid that person or product or go to their competitor which offers a different service or political view 3) I can choose to turn him/her or that show off. So, in the case of Phil Robertson, if what he says offended any of you - then simply choose not to support their show on A&E.
For me, I think the Book of James 1:19 says it best, "19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,". We live in a world that is rapidly changing, but we are not seeing any new themes coming from a worldly perspective. In the days of the Roman Empire there was a multitude of un-biblical practices around, and throughout generations upon generations sinful behaviors and practices became public norm. Am I going to become the moral compass for everyone around me - God forbid me!
Here is the truth in all things: God is Holy! God is not mocked. It is appointed for man (and woman) once to die and after this judgement. We read in Scripture that if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior that there is no Salvation for you - there is only the Great White Throne Judgement that does not end well for those without Christ.
For me, if asked a tough or political leaning question - I would be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. I would rather hope that my light would shine - the light of Jesus Christ in my life. I would hope that my first response would be to share the gospel of Christ in love (not in condemnation). Does that mean that I should withhold the truth - absolutely not. But does that mean that I can cast stones in other peoples lives when I have giant logs sticking out my own eyes - I would hope not.
I am a sinner! I sin everyday! I ask for forgiveness from God when I do sin. Because I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, my sins of the past, the present and in the future - are forgiven once and for all - To God be the Glory for His Son Jesus Christ.
In all that we do as Legacy Dad's - please, pretty please - let your light shine!