Saturday, July 04, 2009

In Congress, July 4, 2009 - A Modern Declaration of Independence

On this day, 233 years ago, a group of men, and, yes, they were men, assembled on a hot, rain drizzled day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to declare the American Colonies free and independent States absolved of all allegiance to the King of England, the British Crown, and the British Parliament. They went a small step further by pledging their own lives, fortunes, and sacred honor and that of their families in the pursuit of liberty. And, as if that were not enough, in a giant leap for mankind, they declared for the first time in human history that ALL men are created equal, that ALL men are born with certain rights that cannot be taken away by any government because those rights come from God, or Nature, or whatever source beyond man and governments one wishes to name.

It is unfortunate that so few of the world's people, and so few Americans, have actually read the Declaration of Independence. It is also unfortunate that the few who have read it have not understood the words and great ideas expressed within. Mark it to the advance of time, the changing meanings of words, and perhaps the general apathy of people born to freedom and liberty to truly appreciate what was written eleven score and thirteen years ago.

When I was in 8th grade American History, the local VFW presented each student with a pamphlet containing the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, a pamplet I still have, carry, and frequently refer. We were to memorize the Preamble of the Constitution and recite it in front of the class. I have long since forgotten the words of the Preamble, but I have not forgotten the part that was not required to be memorized -- "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 entitles 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."

The Founders went on to declare that whenever any government tries to destroy the rights given by divine Providence, and force the people into unquestioning obedience under a tyrant, whether brutish or benevolent, the people have a right and a duty to replace that government, even by violent means; the people have a right to start a new government that will obey the law as set forth by the governed, as the free and independent people of Honduras did recently when their leftist president simply broached the idea of a second term despite their constitution's restriction of one presidential term. Our own head of state, Barack Hussein Obama, has publicly sided with the former Honduran president rather that with the people and Providence. There's a movement here today in America to repeal the 22nd Amendment that restricts the American president to two consecutive terms of office. Obama is also a leftist and just the suggestion of breeching the people's trust, established by our first President who resfused to serve more than two terms, may be too much to endure.

But, what does the Declaration of Independence say in modern terms without the flowery prose and high sounding phrasing. Brent Riggs - blogger, author, and smart guy - has rewritten the hallowed document for modern ears which by the end of a recitation aloud the reader and listeners may understand more completely the meaning of the words those men assembled in congress 233 years ago brought forth to this world.

The Declaration of Independence IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

Every State in America agrees with and declares the following,

When it becomes necessary during the normal course of human history that a specific group of People find it undeniable that they must completely end their relationship with another group of People and assume in this world an equal, separate and sovereign status among nations (which the Laws of God entitle all mankind) – common and decent respect for humanity compels that group of People to clearly and publicly declare their reasons which have forced them to end the relationship in question.

We hold the following truths to be obvious and undeniable,

All men are created equal and have been equipped and supplied by the Creator with certain rights that cannot and must not be taken away which include:
Personal freedom (liberty)
And the right to pursue happiness.
To secure these God-ordained rights, Governments are created and they derive their power and authority from the People they govern, who give them permission to govern, and willingly submit to their authority.

However, when any Government decides to take away the right of personal freedom and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right of the People under that Government to change the Government, or if necessary, get rid of the Government altogether, to recreate a Government which are once again founded upon the principles of freedom, and organized in such a way as to guarantee those freedoms.

Logic, caution and good judgment requires that established Governments should not be altered hastily, without good reason or for temporary circumstances. As well, experience has demonstrated that the People have a tendency to suffer Government evils, rather than change them, as long as the suffering is not too extreme. Why? Because People get used to things being a certain way, and it is difficult and takes great effort to change.

But… when a long series of abuses and stealing of freedoms has occurred by the Government, which are all meant to achieve the goal of putting the People under the rule of violent tyrants, it becomes the right of the People – even more it becomes the duty of the People – to defeat and cast away that Government and create a new Government and new safeguards to protect their freedom.

This is what has happened to the thirteen Colonies who have been patient in this matter of suffering. The Colonies have reached a point where they have no choice but to alter their current system of Government because their freedoms have been abused.

The King of England has a long history of recurring abuses and seizing freedom by violent threats. The King has one single objective: to take absolute, dictatorial control over the Colonies. To prove this, consider the following facts which we make public for the whole world to evaluate:

* The King has refused to sign into law a system where Courts administer justice
* The King has forbid his Governors to pass urgent laws that are extremely important to us. They must delay the laws and get the King’s permission first. Even when the Governors suspend the laws, the King still neglects to consider them anyway.
* The King has refused to sign or consider other laws that enact provisions for large groups of People unless those People give up their right to be represented in the Government – in other words, they must give up their freedom to get the King to pass the law… something only a Tyrant would ask the People to do.
* The King has called the Government leaders together in unusual and uncomfortable places, far from any legal resources or Public Records for the sole purpose of making them so tired and uncomfortable, they will simply agree with King and do what he wants.
* The King has repeatedly shut down the parts of the Government that represent the People. Why? Because they have opposed him when he was has abused the rights of the People they represent.
* The King has refused for long periods of time to allow other Representatives of the People to be elected after he himself dissolved their Representation. So the Representatives, who simply cannot walk away and forget those they represent or their duties, have returned to the People to do their service. Meanwhile, the country remains exposed to invasion by other countries, and intense turmoil and uncertainty from within.
* The King has tried to prevent people from coming to live in our States, obstructing Laws that allow foreigners to become citizens, refusing to sign laws that encourage foreigners to migrate to this country, and making new laws that make it more difficult to own or buy land here.
* The King has hindered the administration of law and justice by refusing to allow us to create Courts and appoint Judges.
* The King has appointed his own puppet Judges who will do nothing except what the King says to do. If not, he will remove them from office or not pay them.
* The King has created many new public offices in order to send large groups of Government officials to harass the People, and take their wealth.
* The King has kept his battle-ready Armies living among us, even in times of peace, without our permission or agreement.
* The King has declared that his Army is not subject to our laws or authority.
* The King has agreed to make us subject to the laws and authority of foreign Governments and disregarding our own laws, he gives his agreement to the foreign law makers.
* The King houses and feeds large Armies within our civilian population.
* The King protects his Armies from any punishment or prosecution by fake trials even if they are guilty of murdering our citizens.
* The King has cut off our trade with other parts of the world.
* The King has imposed taxes on us without our permission or agreement.
* The King often refuses our citizens the benefits of a trial by jury.
* The King will transport our citizens across the ocean and put them on trial for pretend violations of the law.
* The King has abolished our Government in one area only to set up his own Government. Then the King will enlarge the territory this new Government is responsible for, and claim that the citizens of this expanded area are now under the absolute rule of the Government the King set up.
* The King has taken away our own Government agreements, dismissed our most valuable laws, and fundamentally changed the way we govern ourselves by suspending our Legislatures and declaring that the King and his representatives now have the power to make law in all cases.
* The King has disowned and dismissed our Government, declaring that we are no longer under his protection as he wages war against us.
The King has robbed our overseas trade, destroyed our coastal economy, burned our communities and ruined the lives of our people.
* The King is, at this very moment, sending large Armies of foreign soldiers of death to complete the work of destroying us, of ruining our country and establishing his tyranny over us. The King acts with a cruelty and betrayal that has seldom been matched in even the most barbaric of times… actions that are totally unworthy of being a ruler in a civilized world.
* The King has captured our Citizens while out at Sea and has forced them to fight against their own country and to kill their friends and family – or face death.
* The King has stirred up rebellions among us and has gone about trying to convince the violent Indian populations to kill us. The Indians are well known to have only one rule of warfare: kill every man, woman and child without mercy no matter what their age or physical condition.

At every stage of our suffering and oppression under this King, we have humbly, repeatedly, officially and publicly asked for the ceasing of this oppression, and the correction of these abuses. Our requests have been met only with further injury and insult. A King who has this type of character and morals is defined in only one possible way: a Tyrant, unfit to rule free People.

We have never failed to warn or inform our British brethren. From time to time, we tell them about the attempts of the King and their Government to extend their authority over us. We remind them of the reason why we left England to come to this new country. We have tried to appeal to their own sense of justice and goodness, and have sincerely asked them, based on our common ties of ancestry and family, to not agree with or cooperate with these violations of our freedom which deny that we are a separate Nation. We now consider our brethren in England, as we do all peoples of the world, Enemies if we are at war, and Friends if we have peace.

Therefore, as the Representatives of the United States of America, we, the General Congress, having assembled and prayed to God about the honor and rightness of our conclusions, publish and declare with grave seriousness by the name and authority of the People of these Colonies the following:

The United States have the right to freedom, and ARE free and independent. We denounce and separate ourselves from all authority or allegiance to the King of England and dissolve any political agreements or connections between America and Britain.

As free and independent States, we have the full right and authority to declare War, make peace agreements, build alliances with other countries, establish trade and commerce with the world… and do anything else that free and independent countries have the right to do.

In support of this Declaration, we rely on God to protect and provide for us. Together, we all promise our lives, wealth and honor as a pledge to uphold and honor this Declaration of Independence.

Whether in the the language of the original Declaration of Independence or the modern version above, these are not simply words; they are Just words to be honored, preserved, protected, and understood if we are to remain a free and independent people blessed by whatever Divinity or Providence there may be and the one truth that remains - these are MY rights, these are OUR rights, and no man will take them away.

Happy Independence Day, America.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Always On Watch said...

I love the original language. So eloquent!

But if a "translation" such as this one helps people today to understand the importance and the gravity of what our Founders wrought over two centuries ago, I'm all for an "updated" version.

Getting ready to head out to the local fireworks now.

I'm feeling very grim about the future of America. But America has proven herself so resilient that I refuse to give up on the greatest nation on this earth.

Indigo Red said...

Couldn't agree more, AOW. Enjoy the show. I've several more hours before ours.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Wow, quite a post, Indigo. Great job on it.

Here's hoping for better days and a brighter future for our country than what appears to be on the immediate horizon.

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, Word. It feels odd that we, the good guys, are now left with hope and change as our last resort.