by Dr. Albert J. LaChance
(written on May 8, 2017)
It has occurred to me that it might be wise to look at the source for language regarding “self-evidence”. So I’m going to reflect upon the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence where it appears. Below, please find that paragraph and, following it, some commentary on it.
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.
We hold these truths to be self-evident…
As I noted earlier, I take the term self-evident to mean obvious. If we endorse the language of the Constitution, then what they meant was “not open to argument, true and underived, something we can all see and agree upon.” They all signed it…it was “the unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America.”
That all men are created equal…
Male, female, black, white, red, yellow, brown or any admixture thereof. The original “all white landowning men” evolved into ever greater categories of inclusivity. The document is alive! It evolves! It matures! So, when like schoolchildren, we raise our hands declaring that we don’t believe in evolution, we deny the very Life within this profound document. This is political Scripture. We have devolved presently from political poetry to political pornography. Lincoln, Kennedy (all three), and Obama…these are the political poets.
…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
As noted earlier, the first person singular of the verb to write in the Greek is scripto. So to be endowed by our Creator with unalienable Rights means that those Rights are truth endowed upon us as us by the Sacred as we understand the Sacred. Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, and all the derivative faiths, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and every native person on all continents, all of us are “We the people.” We are Americans; our equality and our rights are Sacred. We are the divine experiment in global humanity. We succeed in the long run only…only…if we are able to create a sacred template for global humanity. It is only through a hominized, thinking planet that we make America great again. When we throw open our true destiny, a successful experiment in global humanity, we become successful as a people. It’s not about bigger bombs, but bigger and more generous hearts. It’s about fewer bombs and fewer bombastic “leaders”.
…that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
The word Life capitalized indicates that we are not only speaking of Americans here! What about all that supports Life in its human mode? What about Soil, Air, Water, Flora, Fauna? What about the Garden Earth? Our garden and the garden for all living things? The garden comprised of all living things? In the first paragraph of this Declaration, the following language appears: “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…” Yes, I take these words out of their context, but only to say they are here, they exist. Why are all the words indicating Sacred Endowment capitalized?
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men
Securing these rights, then, is the only true purpose of Government. Governments exist to secure the Sacred right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Governance is seen here as the manifest protection of the Creator toward the Creation. Protection must reach all the way up to global humanity as well as down to unicelluar organisms. These latter organisms create the foundations and ongoing support of Life. What do these humble organisms need? They need the Garden Earth with clean soil, air, water, and habitat. All flora and fauna in the garden depend on them in an ultimate sense. The birds, reptiles, mammals, primates, and humans are needed to secure Life, Liberty (the freedom to live), and to pursue Happiness. Then comes the true greatness of good government.
…just powers from the consent of the governed
The consent of the governed: DEMOCRACY. Local democracy, state democracy, national democracy, democracy among all nations of each continent, democracy among the USE, the United States of Earth, with its capital in the very heart of American Democracy, the United Nations. Democracy is self-governance of the sacred community of humankind. Finding ourselves in a hominzed planet, democracy then is also the sacred governance of Earth. Nor does the sentence end here, but continues following a very long dash.
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
We don’t need new government unless it is to understand that the Constitution and this Declaration is designed to offer revolution via the vote. Shame on those who do not vote! Shame on high schools (high indeed!) who don’t teach civics and a specific semester on the US Constitution. We’ve had a Constitutional scholar with his utterly brilliant wife and dignified but spontaneous daughters. A bloviating manatee once compared Chelsea Clinton to a dog when she was in her adolescence. Must we listen to yet another one? No! If ANY form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to initiate a new government. We need only to vote! Democracy is sacred! It is we voters who choose poorly or not at all. When we assent/agree to the rule of liars, we become people of the lie. Like claiming that “yes, I joined the Nazi party…but…I didn’t kill any Jews,” to vote for a swine is to become a swine! We can vote for better people, and if we don’t, we can thank ourselves and only ourselves for the failure to do so.
…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.
There are more sentences pointing at Great Britain but enough is said above to elucidate what I mean by self-evident truth. We need to see in our own difficulties the new culprit…we are that culprit! JFK summed up our individual and collective ego-driven dysfunction: “Ask not what your country can do for you” (egotism), but rather “ask what you can do for your country” (community). It is the calling of our great nation and its document to lay out the protocols for the community of nations upon the Earth.