Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Preamble to the Declaration of Indepedence

When reading the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, most people stop at the first sentence - which is easily one of the most famous in the English language. However, there's more to it. I offer it for your reading pleasure:

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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Analysis of these 202 words fills more than that number of volumes. I won't bore you with my thoughts, but remember that our rights derive not from our government, but exist beyond and before government. No government can take away these rights, nor the ability of the people to exercise them.

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