"These communities [the Fathers of the Republic], by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
"This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to his creatures.
"Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children, and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.
"Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, or none but Anglo-Saxon white men, were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
"Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions; if you have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal in those inalienable rights enumerated by our chart of liberty, let me entreat you to come back. Return to the fountain whose waters spring close by the blood of the Revolution. Think nothing of me — take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever — but come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence. You may do anything with me you choose, if you will but heed these sacred principles. You may not only defeat me for the Senate, but you may take me and put me to death. While pretending no indifference to earthly honors, I do claim to be actuated in this contest by something higher than an anxiety for office. I charge you to drop every paltry and insignificant thought for any man's success. It is nothing; I am nothing; Judge Douglas is nothing. But do not destroy that immortal emblem of Humanity — the Declaration of American Independence."
-- Abraham Lincoln, speech in Lewiston, Illinois, August 17, 1858, four days before his first historic debate with Stephen A. Douglas, Printed in the Chicago Press and Tribune.
"Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other."
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
"Objects of the most stupendous magnitude and measure, in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations."
-- John Adams, letter to William Cushing, 1776
"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
Alan Keyes counters 'religious freedom' claim regarding contraceptive mandate
In my WND column last Friday, I pointed out that “every assertion of a fundamental human right necessarily relies in turn upon an assertion about what is right.” Today this fact is more often than not ignored, even by Americans who profess to be ardent defenders of the liberty America’s founders intended to establish and preserve. Madison succinctly summarized the founders’ understanding when he said that “Justice is the end of government, it is the end of civil society. …” But the Declaration of Independence makes clear that the end or aim of the institution of government is to secure God-endowed unalienable rights. (“To secure these rights governments are instituted among men. …”) Justice is thus identified with the security (safe existence) of unalienable rights, because both are identified as the singular end or aim of government. (If A=C and B=C, then A=B.)
This appears even more plainly when we recall that the root of justice (Latin “iustus”) is right (Latin “ius” or “ious”). But in the context of the Declaration’s stated purpose for government, God endows right (i.e., He provides the “income” that establishes it; He determines what goes into it; He is the source of its conceptual substance or meaning). In the Declaration America’s founders declare that the colonies “are, and of right ought to be free and independent States. …” Their free condition is thus identified as a matter or right, a consequence of the substance or meaning which God endows their nature. By invoking their natural right they invoke the authority of the Creator, which is its source and substantiation.
Since the founders’ assertion of freedom invokes the authority of the Creator, the validity of the assertion depends on its conformity with the substance or meaning of right established by that authority. But this dependency has a consequence. It restricts the assertion of freedom within boundaries determined by this conformity to God-endowed right. Freedom is therefore not an unlimited potential for action. The assertion of freedom is valid only for action in conformity with the substance or meaning of right as established (endowed) by the Creator.
By this straightforward logic Abraham Lincoln was bound to conclude that one cannot have the right to do what is wrong. If it is wrong, for instance, to murder innocent people, one cannot claim to do so as a matter of right. If it is wrong, by enslaving them, to violate their God-endowed liberty, one cannot claim to do so as a matter of right.
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_"On the other hand, the duty imposed upon him [the president] to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution." The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or defence; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."
-- Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner himself commit some act that amounts to forfeiture."
-- William Blackstone
"[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few."
-- John Adams, An Essay on Man's Lust for Power, 1763
True north on the American moral compass is pointed directly at the equal protection of the God-given rights of every individual: "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..."
-- Tom Hoefling
"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence."
-- Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
"[W]here is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths...?"
-- George Washington, Farewell Address
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"No State shall deprive any person of life without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
-- The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
"No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law."
-- The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
A Resolution affirming vital existing constitutional protections for the unalienable right to life of every innocent person, from the first moment of creation until natural death.
WHEREAS, The first stated principle of the United States, in its charter, the Declaration of Independence, is the assertion of the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, and that they are each endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, beginning with the right to life, and that the first purpose of all government is to defend that supreme right; and
WHEREAS, The first stated purposes of We the People of the United States in our Constitution are “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”; and
WHEREAS, The United States Constitution, in the Fourteenth Amendment, imperatively requires that all persons within the jurisdictions of all the States be afforded the equal protection of the laws; and
WHEREAS, The United States Constitution, in the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments, explicitly forbids the taking of the life of any innocent person; and
WHEREAS, The practices of abortion and euthanasia violate every clause of the stated purposes of the United States Constitution, and its explicit provisions; and
WHEREAS, Modern science has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the individual human person’s physical existence begins at the moment of biological inception or creation; and
WHEREAS, All executive, legislative and judicial Officers in America, at every level and in every branch, have sworn before God to support the United States Constitution as required by Article VI of that document, and have therefore, because the Constitution explicitly requires it, sworn to protect the life of every innocent person;
THEREFORE, WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES HEREBY RESOLVE that the God-given, unalienable right to life of every innocent person, from biological inception or creation to natural death, be protected everywhere within every state, territory and jurisdiction of the United States of America; that every officer of the judicial, legislative and executive departments, at every level and in every branch, is required to use all lawful means to protect every innocent life within their jurisdictions; and that we will henceforth deem failure to carry out this supreme sworn duty to be cause for removal from public office via impeachment or recall, or by statutory or electoral means, notwithstanding any law passed by any legislative body within the United States, or the decision of any court, or the decree of any executive officer, at any level of governance, to the contrary.
Sign the Resolution ...