We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
(Declaration of Independence, second sentence)
Whenever you might read these words or hear them spoken, you might think of this: most likely, were Jesus in Philadelphia at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence (July 2), were He invited, Jesus would have added his names to the great American statesmen who signed the document.
How can such an affirmation be made today? Well, consider these words of St/ Paul and Jesus.
(1) There is more happiness in giving than in receiving. (Acts 20:35)
(2) The Spirit of the Lord ... has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives. (Luke 4:18)
(3) I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
We recognize that in our nation today Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are realities we cherish. At the same time they are not necessarily fully "alive" in our culture. Do we truly respect Life? How frequent is the taking of another's life "from sea to shining sea"? Do we recognize the right to Liberty? How many are our sisters and brothers who are emotionally and physically "imprisoned" because of the instances of injustice: God shed his grace on thee/Till souls wax fair as earth and air/And music-hearted sea! Do our "American ways" allow for all to pursue happiness? How just is it that young children designated as "illegal" because their parents never registered them but who have done wonders academically and civilly should either be sent back to a country they have never known or denied the happiness of pursuing educational achievments that would strengthen this land we love?
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: a trinity of God-given rights to every human being on this earth? Have we not taken on the role of God in how we allow these inalienable rights to be trampled?
My country 'tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
of thee, I sing.
from every mountainside
let freedom ring.
God bless America!