“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.“
This closing phrase in the Declaration of Independence is an important reminder of just what is at stake at our current place in American History. These 56 men risked everything to free themselves from an oppressive and over-reaching government. As a result 5 were captured by the British and tortured before they died. 12 had their homes ransacked and destroyed. 2 lost their sons to the Revolutionary War. Others lost their land, their merchant ships, their families and yes their fortunes for an idea and a belief that it is within each man to pursue his own destiny. Consider the gravity of this section of that same document.
“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.” Consider just a few of these underlying facts:
- Equality is a gift bestowed upon us by our Creator, not government, not society, and certainly not social culture.
- Government derives their power from the CONSENT of the governed. Apathy and acquiescence is a form of consent and as a free people we need to consider the power we have surrendered to our current government system.
- When any form of Government becomes destructive to these ends (i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), it is the RIGHT of the people to alter or ABOLISH, and institute a new Government.
It is clear from these statements that “we the people” are to reign in and control our government – it was never to be the other way around. We live in an age where our government (because of our apathy) feels emboldened to tell us us – “stay home, don’t attend church, shut up and wear the mask, get vaccinated, don’t leave your home or state, you aren’t allowed to open your business or go to work…” That ought to scare us more than a little bit. Government powers are telling you that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are no longer your God-given right – simply because they say so.
Now here is the kicker! What are we willing to sacrifice to restore those freedoms others sacrificed everything to secure. Many of us risk our jobs, our economic freedom, fines, jail, or other challenges if we stand loud and strong for our rights. Companies fire employees for exercising free speech on a public forum, state and local governments threaten fines and jail time for going to church, elected officials picking the winners and losers and choosing who can conduct commerce in the marketplace and those who are non-essential.
The Declaration of Independence says we are ALL essential and that ALL Lives Matter. The real question is an individual one – how many of us will sign and pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor in defense of our God-given, unalienable rights!
Trent H. Wheeler