To the editor:
"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." The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
These are noble and inspiring words and worthy of veneration as an ideal. It is ironic that certain of the founding fathers possessed slaves in contradiction to the above sentiments.
However, not to disparage them in any way, but a little reflection may result in concluding that perhaps some or all of the above quote is questionable.
Certainly, not all humans were created physically or mentally equal. What is apparently meant is that all humans were created equal under the law. But, what law? Human beings existed before any laws were devised and implemented, either verbally or in written form. You can't be created equal under a law that doesn't exist. And what if the laws that exist are prejudicial like those that existed in the pre-Civil War South?
It can be questioned whether a Creator actually endowed humans with certain unalienable rights. And whose Creator is this? Most people, having a provincial point of view, assume it is the Creator depicted in their particular religion.
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Just what rights do we have by Divine decree? Take a leisurely unarmed stroll in an Indian wilderness and see if the tiger you meet has any interest in your life, liberty, and happiness. You might claim them as a right, but the tiger will be unimpressed by your arguments.
It appears that if we claim any rights like life, liberty, happiness, the right to vote, control over your own body, and other rights in the Constitution, then we have to fight, either verbally or sometimes physically, to obtain them - and to keep them.
We appreciate the words of Thomas Jefferson above, but acknowledge that whatever rights we think we deserve, there always will be others that want to curtail or deny us those rights.
DAVID M. KERANEN