American Principle Fourteen: Life Liberty and Happiness, Humanity’s Goal—
“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 . . .” ~ Declaration of Independence
“Kings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source–from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth. They are not annexed to us by parchments and seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence… It would be an insult on the Divine Majesty to say that He has given or allowed any man or body of men a right to make me miserable. If no man or body of men has such a right, I have a right to be happy. If there can be no happiness without freedom, I have a right to be thus secured” (John Dickinson, reply to a Committee in Barbados, 1766, Quotes by John Dickinson).
“The consequence is, that happiness of society is the first law of every government. The people have a right to insist that this rule be observed; and are entitled to demand a moral security that the legislature will observe it. If they have not the first right, they are slaves; if they have not the second right [moral security], they are, every moment, exposed to slavery” (US Supreme Court Justice James Wilson, Lectures, 1790-91).
American Principle Fifteen: Benevolent Provision and Heart of God for Man Recognized—
“Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the [Creator-based Declaration of] Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness where of We have hereunto subscribed our Names . . .” ~ Constitution of the United States
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” ~ Declaration of Independence
It is the open expression of faith in the nonsectarian God of creation and the unchanging Laws of Nature that put an end to atheistic secular oppression and deprivation in human history.
“The very name of patriotism is indeed become a jest with some men; which would be much stranger than it is, had not so many others made a jest of the thing, serving their own base and wicked ends, under the pretext and color of it. But there will be hypocrites in politics, as well as in religion. Nor ought so sacred a name [patriotism] so fall into contempt, however it may have been prostituted and profaned, to varnish over crimes. And those times are perilous indeed, wherein men shall be only lovers of their own selves, having no concern for the good of the public.
“… Is there a Christian, who is required to love all men, and to do good to all, as he may have opportunity for it; is there a Christian, who does not love even his brethren, the members of the same body with himself? Is there a Christian, who is void of all generous solicitude for his country’s welfare? Is there, who has no desire to see it in a prosperous and flourishing condition? Who has no pleasure in actually seeing it so? Is there, who has no grief, in beholding its calamities? No disposition to serve it? Such a person, though he were of a private character, would be a reproach not only to his religion, a religion of charity and beneficence, but even to our own common nature, as corrupt and depraved as it is. But how much more infamous were this, in persons of public character? In those on whom the welfare of their country, under providence immediately depends?” (Jonathan Mayhew, D.D., Pastor of the West Church in Boston … to the House of Representatives, 1754, “An Election Sermon”).
“To read the Constitution as the charter for a secular state is to misread history, and to misread it radically. The Constitution was designed to perpetuate a Christian order” (R.J. Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, Ross House Books, 2002).
This concludes the discussion regarding definite, unique, American beliefs that translate into specific principles for the establishment and workings of our government. Compromise of any of the fifteen principles leads to harmful consequences.
~ David Norris
A full discussion of these vital American Principles can be found in my book, Restoring Education Central to American Greatness.