“A decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation,” according to the Course of Human Events. “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 entitle them.”
We at Hot Air would like to wish all of our readers safety, health, and the ability to spend this day with those they cherish as Americans gather to once again celebrate freedom from foreign rule. And once more, we’ll take a quick look at what the Founders actually said when they issued the Declaration of Independence. Here are some of the main points that might be discussed today, especially as we pause to consider what those ideas meant in 1776 and how applicable they still are today.
The Founders asserted two things about the relationship between church and state. All people have unalienable rights, which are conferred by their Creator and not by any individual or group of individuals. Furthermore, those rights cannot be restricted. Governments, on the other hand, are the works of men. However, the American government does not grant itself authority. The consent of the governed is the source of a government’s authority. And when any government, whether it be that of King George III or the United States government that the Founders were preparing to establish, becomes destructive of those principles, the people have the right to change or abolish it and enact a new government.
The document continues with a long list of grievances against the King and the Crown. There are 27 different charges made. Later, many of those accusations would appear in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, spelled out as activities that the government is not permitted to carry out. They then proclaimed these nations to be “Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,” claiming they were free and independent.
We’re still here after nearly 250 years. The fact that the nation we fought to free ourselves from is currently one of our most steadfast allies and a part of what we frequently refer to as the “special relationship” is perhaps ironic in some ways. At the same time, other countries that the Founders probably didn’t give much thought to in 1776 have gained power on the international stage and turned into some of our most dangerous enemies.
It would be a good idea to remind them of everything as we get ready to send yet another group of incumbents and candidates to Washington this fall. They swear to uphold and defend the Constitution when they are elected. Perhaps the Declaration of Independence should also be made mandatory reading for them. Their employment is never guaranteed, and whatever power they do possess comes from the populace. The Founders also left us a guide for how to deal with the situation if the populace feels that they are becoming too destructive of their unalienable rights.