Among These: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

July 4, 2012

“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, July 4, 1776

Red, white, and blue

Vintage canning jar with small flags

Fourth of July patchwork

Flag in felted wool

When you consider today’s contentious and polarized political climate, it truly seems a marvel that the delegates of the thirteen colonies came together to unanimously declare their independence.  And we descendents are very gratified that they did. We too often take these rights for granted and seldom ponder what they mean until we feel they are threatened.

Marilynn Robinson talks a bit about rights in When I Was a Child I Read Books:

“Jefferson says that we are endowed with ‘certain’ rights, and that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are ‘among these.’  He does not claim to offer and exhaustive list.  Indeed, he draws attention to the possibility that other ‘unalienable’ rights might be added to it.”

Robinson points out that the framers of our Declaration of Independence were quite clear where these rights come from: “Each person is divinely created and given rights as a gift from God.  And since these rights are given to him by God, he can never be deprived of them without defying divine intent.”

Life.  Liberty.  The pursuit of happiness.  What other God-given rights might you add to the list?

2 Responses to “Among These: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”


  1. […] quintessential summer holiday.  Here are links to my old posts:  2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  […]


  2. […] Among These: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, July 4, 2012 […]


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