Michael Gaynor
America's Declaration deserves devotion, not revision, Mr. President
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By Michael Gaynor
January 19, 2009

There is no doubt that the Declaration of Independence contemplated the creation of an independent nation "under God," not a secular extremist society.

President Obama's mischievous musing about a new American Declaration of Independence reveals the problem with change for the sake of change, not a problem with America's Declaration of Independence.

America's Declaration of Independence rightly rejected the divine right of kings concept and humbly acknowledged God as the source of the unalienable rights of individuals, not kings or communities, thereby limiting the power of government.

There is no doubt that the Declaration of Independence contemplated the creation of an independent nation "under God," not a secular extremist society.

It began: "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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Immediately thereafter, the essence of the American idea was succinctly stated as follows: "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."

Nothing there should be changed, Mr. President.

What needs changing (correcting) is the United States Supreme Court's unwarranted ruling in 1947 that government must be neutral as between religion and irreligion and may not support religion generally.

The First Amendment was not adopted to require government to reject God and instead embrace secular extremism.

America's Founders surely did not intend to give atheists and agnostics a veto power over government acknowledgement of God.

Thus, America's Declaration of Independence concluded: "We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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."

That must NOT change, Mr. President.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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