Monday, February 18, 2013
UNALIENABLE RIGHTS: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
These three are listed in the Declaration of Independence as being among the Rights which were endowed by the Creator on each person. It states that we believe that “all men are created equal…” This is included in the very first sentence explaining why the Americans have declared themselves to be free and independent from Britain. This sentence is the foundational reason why our Government was established by the people, “…to secure these rights…” The proper role of the Federal Government is to protect our Rights.
Why was it not written as “Life, Liberty and Happiness”? The founding fathers believed that God has given each of us the right to life and the right to be free. They did not believe that God gave us the right to be happy. There is considerable difference between the right to be happy and the right to pursue happiness. We hear much about equality or the right to equal outcomes. “Sharing the wealth” and “fair share” both relate to this philosophy of equal results. Neither God nor the Declaration of Independence tells us that we are guaranteed or promised equality in outcome. What we do have the right to is opportunity. We each have the right to pursue happiness, as we see fit, as long as our pursuit does not infringe on another’s rights. Whether you succeed and become happy in your pursuit is not guaranteed or implied. That is where the challenge enters the picture and your own determination, talents and hard work can be what causes you to succeed or fail.
Government was never intended to be an equalizer so that those who failed have similar results to those who worked harder and succeeded. They were never supposed to take from the successful and redistribute their earnings among those who did not succeed. Those who did well were to be an example for the rest as what is possible if you keep trying. It was hard work that made America great, one person after another achieving their goals. No nation will become or remain great where the successful are punished by their government and the unsuccessful are rewarded by the same. This robs men’s souls of their initiative and drive and fosters a dependency on government.
We were created equal, but where we end up depends on each of us.