Undermoderated

This is what happens when shit gets unreal

Tag Archives: civil rights

Self-Evident Truths

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

Signed July 4, 1776

Those words come from the Declaration of Independence, with which America hoisted a middle finger towards Britain and told them it wasn’t them, it was us, but please not to call tomorrow morning.

It’s a long document. TL;DR. (Though we ought to.) That first sentence tells us everything we need to know. Let’s have a look at it.

We hold these truths to be self-evident…
This crap should be obvious. No one should have to tell anyone this stuff.

That all men are created equal…
In this instance, “men” means “humans”. No getting huffy about gender words, because that’ll distract from the issue you really want to focus on. And that would be, everyone was created equal.

That they are endowed by their Creator…
Our Founding Fathers were Christian, but really, this is vague enough you can fit anything in. If you like, imagine this refers to God, Goddess, your mother or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

With certain unalienable rights…
This means, these rights cannot be taken away. I’m going to emphasize that. No one can take these rights away from another person. These are sacred, inviolable rights to which every homo sapien is entitled.

That among these are Life…
You know, living. Heartbeat, breathing, the works. No one has the right to take life away from someone else.

Liberty…
Freedom to do and to choose what goes on in the life from above.

And the pursuit of Happiness.
This means, everyone has the right to chase whatever it is which will make them happy, and give them a fulfilling life. Basket weaving. Flamenco dancing. Rollerskating while wearing rainbow socks and a Batman costume.

Holy Rollerskating Rainbow Batmans!

Photo by Joshua Trujillo, Seattle Pi

So what does all that really boil down to?

This means everyone has the right to create a life which will bring them joy. Even the people whose lifestyles you don’t care for. It means you can preach up a storm against perfidy, homosexuality, independent women and noisy proselytizers. Try to convince everyone you want these people are disgusting / wrong / noisy / stupid / whatever your preferred word. If it makes you happy, you can shout yourself blue.

But you can’t take away their right to pursue happiness as they see fit.

A religion does not give the moral ability to take away Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. It means the faithful get to spread their church’s message and save souls, but when it comes to laws and legalities, they have no right to take them from others. The city, state and federal governments are not their strong arms.

Too many people get this confused. Too many people think, “My faith says this is right, therefore, I can use the government to enforce my faith’s belief.” This is a country founded on the belief all may worship as they see fit, believe as they like. All may pursue happiness. They think, “My faith defines marriage as between a man and a woman, so the government must, as well. A religious marriage is the only legal marriage.”

A couple can walk down to the records place, get a marriage license, then amble over to a Justice of the Peace and get legally married in the eyes of state and private institutions. No religious ceremony involved. No church seems to have a problem recognizing these marriages, despite God’s total lack of involvement in the process.

No one has to like it. Everyone has to shut the fuck up and deal with it. This is America. Where all men are created equal, and all have the right to pursue happiness.

It’s self-evident. No one should have to say this.