I marvel at the wisdom of this country’s founding fathers. As John Adams wrote to John Penn, another signer of the Declaration of Independence, on March 27, 1776, “It has been the will of Heaven that we should be thrown into existence at a period when the greatest philosophers and lawgivers of antiquity would have wished to live … a period when a coincidence of circumstances without example has afforded to thirteen colonies at once an opportunity of beginning government anew from the foundation and building as they choose.”
Many thoughtful and intelligent people throughout human history likely dreamed of a government like the one created here and wished they could participate in this grand and innovative experiment.
Our government is certainly not, and never has been, perfect. None is nor will any ever be. But we have the ability, and the responsibility, to work to further perfect our Union.
I laugh when this or that well-known person says in disgust that if (fill in the blank) wins the election, he or she will move to another country. Their disliked candidate wins yet they don’t move. Why? Because America is the greatest place on earth to live. We were founded by an unquenchable thirst for freedom. The people who came here wanted to be able to think and speak and pray freely, without interference from government.
When a great generation of leaders declared independence 245 years ago and chartered a new nation, they declared certain truths to be unalienable—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.”
Unalienable rights are not given by governments and cannot be taken away by governments. The new nation was instituted to secure those rights for the governed.
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Benjamin Franklin was prescient. He was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787 when asked what kind of government had been created. He responded– almost as a warning– “a Republic, if you can keep it.”
Being used to majority rule when it comes to elections and decision-making, I was impressed by a speaker I heard many years ago as he explained the difference between a democracy and a republic.
In a democracy, if a majority of the people want to eat you, majority rules—so good luck! In a republic, you have inalienable rights. It doesn’t matter if everyone wants to eat you–you stand firm on your right to life and there is nothing they can do about it.
I’m sure he was speaking metaphorically, not literally (!), in all this. That said, his example made enough of an impression on me to remember the difference between the two forms of government.
Unfortunately, our unalienable rights have not always been recognized or protected by the government, especially the right to life for helpless unborn children. So we—you and I–fight to restore what never should have been taken away. And we do so on many fronts.
We work to educate our neighbors about the humanity of the unborn child.
We work to elect candidates who understand the principles of a republic and so will work to protect life.
We work to pass legislation so that our laws recognize the right to life.
We have an amazing system of government, but its survival depends on the people’s involvement.
Let’s not disappoint John Adams and Ben Franklin.
LifeNews Note: Carol Tobias is the president of the National Right to Life Committee.