Called “America’s Civic Religion, the Declaration of Independence was adopted unanimously by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. “All men are created… endowed by their Creator…” (Declaration of Independence). By far the most consequential charter for government throughout all history is the Declaration of Independence. Referring to the Declaration, one scholar writes, “Everything in the colonial period led up to it and everything afterward flowed from it.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his Articles of Belief, “I believe there is one supreme, most perfect Being…Also when I stretch my imagination through and beyond our system of planets, beyond the visible fixed stars themselves, into that space that is every way infinite, and conceive it filled with suns like ours, each with a chorus of worlds forever moving round him; then this little ball on which we move, seems, even in my narrow imagination, to be almost nothing, and myself less than nothing, and of no sort of consequence… That I may be preserved from atheism … Help me, O Father! For all thy innumerable benefits; for life, and reason… My good God, I thank thee!”
James Wilson was one of six men who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Addressing the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention for the new constitution, Wilson stated, “I beg to read a few words from the Declaration of Independence made by the representatives of the United States and recognized by the whole Union. ‘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.’”
Wilson concluded, “This [Declaration] is the broad basis on which our independence [from authoritarian rule] was placed; on the same certain and solid foundation this [the Constitution of the United States] system is erected.”
It is not too late to restore this first principle of the spiritual nature of man and citizen sovereignty under God over government. Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court Justice, adds a link for restoration of Common Law morality to the American Judiciary. He joined the court on April 10, 2017, after being confirmed by the Republican-led Senate over broad Democratic opposition. His history as a judge follows closely that of Antonin Scalia who considered the Declaration of Independence to be the basis for our federal Constitution.
~ D. Norris