Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The Declaration of Independence beautifies (and beatifies) the Constitution
The Constitution works because it is founded on the beauty of the solid moral and spiritual rock of the Declaration of Independence.
By Jerry Todd 12/18/2011
On September 17, 2010 President Barack Obama spoke to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute 33rd Annual Award Gala. During his speech - reading from a teleprompter - he quoted from the Declaration of Independence. Here is what he said: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain unalienable rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Perhaps his teleprompter muddles the defining phrase “endowed by our Creator!”
The Declaration of Independence defines the Constitution philosophically and spiritually, therefore in Beauty and its Author. “Progressives" have argued for years, quite successfully, that the Constitution is a living, breathing document, standing alone from its origins in the Declaration of Independence. It is subject to change as the mores’ of the times change. The Declaration, they say, was a motivational statement designed to gather support for the “real” document – The Constitution. "Hey man! Get with it. It's the 21st century... blah, blah!"
The Declaration has several key elements that set the moral and philosophical basis for the Constitution. If one were to seek the “sought after ideal” for a form of government, it would be structured according to American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, in the order of Beauty, Ethics and Logic. A document like the Constitution is a Cartesian nightmare without a moral basis that acquires its authority and blessings free of the duplicity of faulty humanity.
The Declaration is primarily a Document of Beauty because it recognizes Natural Law; self-evident truths; the endowment by our Creator of our universal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This includes the opportunity to associate with others, strive, succeed and even fail. It also runs a litany of abuses to demonstrate the false logic of despotic or “progressive” rule. This has been warfare of politics and the spirit since time immemorial. Here the enemy is met and defeated, though the price of hard-won liberty is eternal vigilance and great personal and national sacrifice. We haven’t done well lately.
The most insidious of these are “acts of pretended legislation.” When reading the complaints against the king, it is apparent that under our Constitution, dishonest, evil and unneeded amendments to necessary legislation are discouraged. It has become accepted practice to use needed legislation as a Trojan horse to sneak in laws and interpretations that could not stand on their own. They put burdens on the people and create special favors at the expense of others.
The 2010 Health Care bill launched 159 new agencies “to eat out the people’s substance.” Any bill over 50-100 pages in length is to be held suspect and its perpetrators looked upon with contempt if not treason. Recent legislation, obviously prepared well before the 2008 elections, tend to run between 600 and 3,000 pages. No good can come of that, because as Nancy Pelosi condescended, "We have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it!"!
The Declaration of Independence is pure Beauty as it is based on Nature’s God, Natural Law and the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity operative in a chaotic world. It also catalogs the evils of intrusive government, giving the citizen a basis for discernment of good and evil political and bureaucratic practice. The responsible American citizen is well armed in spirit and the backing of our founding documents to deal with those who would usurp power from "We the People."