Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Endowed by Their Creator

from The Foundry:

Monday night in Rockville, Md., President Barack Obama told Democratic Senate candidate donors: “As wonderful as the land is here in the United States, as much as we have been blessed by the bounty of this magnificent continent that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, what makes this place special is not something physical. It has to do with this idea that was started by 13 colonies that decided to throw off the yoke of an empire, and said, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’”

At first blush, that seems like a fine statement about what makes America exceptional. But look at President Obama’s “quote” from the Declaration of Independence again. Here is what the Declaration actually says: “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.” If you think that President Obama’s abandonment of the Creator was an accident, think again. Monday was the third time in a little over a month that President Obama wrote the Creator out of one of our nation’s founding documents.

Kent comments:

When I first read this, I wondered why Obama would retain “created equal” if he is attempting to downplay “the Creator.”  Perhaps this is explained in part by the fact that the phrase “all men are created equal” has been used in a stand-alone fashion for so long that changing it to “all men are equal” would change the cadence of the line enough to stand out like a hangnail to most people.  But there is much more to the story than this.

The very thought of creation must be banished if the goals of Obama and his kin are to make headway.  This goes back a long way.  Consider what Woodrow Wilson said in regard to the view of government found in the Declaration and the Constitution:

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton.

To Wilson – and Obama – government is not something that draws its ultimate justification from the Creator.  It is, rather, a “living thing” – but it is a living thing whose life is created, directed, and redirected by man.

For a long time there has been an almost maniacal reaction by the ‘progressive left’ to any serious consideration of the idea of the Creator.  Why has cosmology moved a long way from Newton, while biology clings closely to Darwin?  While many important reasons could be cited, one is that the whole social-political conception of society put forth by the ‘progressive left’ requires a foundation in Darwin.

So for now, “all men” can be considered “created equal” – but their rights cannot be “endowed by their Creator.”  If rights come from the Creator, then their might be limits on the moral permissibility of social engineering in all its forms.  And for the ‘progressive left’ this would never do.

P.S. – For one of the best an brightest men in the world (who usually reads a teleprompter, it seems) we have to wonder about this construction:  “each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights.”  Since ‘each’ is singular, it requires the singular form of the verb ‘to be’ which is not ‘are’ but rather ‘is.’  Does no one edit the teleprompter material for B.H.O.? 

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