So we just finished going through the Declaration of Independence using the Founders own words to tell us what they meant. Now let's take a look at it through our situation with our government today. How does our government compare to the King of England to whom the Declaration was originally written? How do we compare to the Founders? Do we have the same feelings about ourselves and our freedoms and liberties?
We will take each phrase and grievance and see if it is applicable to today. I'll also rephrase some of the sections in more modern language. The portions in italics will be from the original.
Let's get started.
“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.”
Through the living of our daily lives, we come to the point where we feel the need to dissolve our political relationship with others we have been connected politically to in the past. We have the absolute right, because of the Laws of Nature and Nature's God to do so. Because it is the right thing to do, we will also declare our reasons for declaring the separation.
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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
It's obvious to us that all men are created equal by God and that we each have certain rights given to us by God that cannot be taken away or given away. Among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We, as humans, establish governments among ourselves for the purpose of securing and protecting those and other God given rights. We know and acknowledge that governments can only exist through the consent of those forming the government. Because of that, we, the governed, fully retain the right to alter or abolish the government we formed for any reason but especially when it becomes abusive in any way to the rights we have by virtue of merely being human. Certainly we agree that this should not be done frivolously or on a whim. However, when it becomes evident, after a long series of actions on the part of the government, that demonstrates their lack of attention to preserving the rights of those it was formed to govern, when the government has turned from its established purpose of protecting the rights of the governed to abusing the rights of the governed, it is the duty of the people to abolish the government and reform it into a government that again serves to protect the God given rights of the people that form it. We, the people of America have been patient beyond reason, many times resulting in severe damage to ourselves and our Country. We have requested the government cease it's abuse of our rights and liberties and it has refused to do so. It has become an absolutely tyrannical government. The following list of grievances are provided as proof.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
When we have requested common sense laws that made sense to us in our situations, we have been ignored.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
This government has done as it pleased regardless of our desires. It has routinely passed laws for it's benefit rather than the benefit of the people.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.
This government refused to pass laws the people have wanted unless they were willing to give up specific individual rights and liberties that in turn benefited the government. This was meant to give the government tyrannical powers over the people, not to benefit the people.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
This government has intentionally made things uncomfortable and difficult for the people to get things accomplished within the government. We call this government red tape.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.
This government has intentionally destroyed many means the people have to peacefully oppose it's actions.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.
This government, after it has destroyed our means to oppose it peacefully, has refused to provide any other means for such opposition. This has caused much unneeded unrest among the people at the fault of the government. It is intentionally causing this unrest to then allow it to use more and more force against us.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
This government has instituted immigration policies that harm the Country as a whole and restrict and infringe the rights and liberties of the people. It's immigration policies serve only to benefit those within government and not the Country or the people.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
This government has placed itself above the law. It has chosen to enforce or not enforce laws as it see fit and as it benefits the government, not for the equal application of justice within the populace.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
This government has made judges to answer to it and it's will, rather than to the rule of law. It has done this through various means to include coercion and other nefarious activities.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
This government has established a multitude of bureaucracies for the express purpose of removing our rights, liberties, and resources. It has sent swarms of it's minions to harass us and to take the fruits of our labors from us, many times by force even resulting in death.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.
This government has built among us a police state. It has taken our rights and liberties through means, if made open and clear, we would never have agreed to, so this was without our consent.
He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.
This government has worked to turn the military into a force to be used against us rather than to protect us. It seeks to keep us from having any say as to when and how the military is used. It seeks to use the military as a way to force us into submission by using deception, lies and propaganda to attempt to convince us we need to give up our freedoms and liberties to be secure from threats.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
This government has subjected us to the jurisdiction of foreign powers outside of our Constitution. It has repeatedly attempted to supersede the Constitution by using treaties with foreign powers to attempt to give away our rights and liberties.
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
For militarizing the police force and establishing a police state;
For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;
For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;
For subjecting us to trade treaties that take purposefully away our competitive edge;
For imposing taxes on us without our consent;
For imposing unconstitutional taxes on us;
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;
For depriving us, in many cases of equal justice under the rule of law. Many times implementing the rule of man instead.
For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;
For kidnapping and transporting us to places without our consent. Many times these place have been hidden and unknown to outside sources so we could not be located and retrieved.
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;
For manipulating laws and situations for the benefit of government and the detriment of the people.
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;
For abusing the Constitution and the rule of law for the express purpose of destroying the Constitution and what this Country was founded upon. For attempting to destroy our most cherished ideals, morals, and ethics.
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
For manipulating the Constitution through interpretations meant to benefit the government and give it more power than was allowed according to the enumerated powers within the Constitution itself. It has put itself above the law of the land, The Constitution.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
This government has intentional provoked a race war among us for it's own benefit. It's attempts to divide us, for it's own benefit, is reprehensible.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
This government has used us a chattel to fund it's extravagant spending. It has stolen the fruits of our labors, our property, and in some cases our lives. It considers us to be it's property to be used as it sees fit and then discarded.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
This government has left the borders unsecured and allowed people who mean us harm to enter unobstructed. It has made treaties with nations that mean us harm and invited them to our shores. It has shown it will sell us out, for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver, if it could benefit in any way from the transaction. It serves only itself.
He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
This government has used coercion, threat of harm, blackmail, and torture as methods to force some of us to turn on each other.
He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
This government has made use of false flag events to fool us into thinking we were under attack when, in fact, it was our own government. It has also worked diligently to bring division among us based on race, religion, sexual preferences, and many other social issues for the purpose of causing us to be more subservient to the government and relinquish our rights and liberties for the sake of false security.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
At every point along this journey, we have asked that the government cease it's oppression of our rights and liberties, and it has either directly refused or blatantly ignored us. This government has shown by it's outward, sometimes violent, acts against us that it it totally tyrannical in it's nature and unfit to be the government of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We have not been quiet about our dissatisfaction. Many times we have expressed it in recent years. We have contacted our representatives and senators. We have written letters to the president. We have marched in the streets. We have even used civil disobedience. All to no avail. This government has been and continues to be deaf to our petitions. For this reason, we must accept the necessity of our dissolution of this government and hold them accountable for all their actions.
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 the 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 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.
We, therefore, the people of America, by the authority granted to us by God, do solemnly publish and declare that the government of the United States of America is hereby dissolved and these several States are now free and independent States absolved of any allegiance to the former government. These States have the full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all the other acts and things which independent States have the right to do. For the support of this declaration, with full trust in God, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
Now that this exercise is completed how did it impact you?
When I first did this, I was shocked at how far this present government has sunk into tyranny when compared to a government KNOWN to be tyrannical, England in the 1700's.
I seriously believe my wording of the grievances is very mild compared to what they could be. This current government is so far beyond what the Founders accused the King of England of, that it really makes the grievances the Founders used seem almost insignificant. They went to war with the most powerful Country in the world at that time.
Silence and inaction for the most part. Even agreement with their actions at times. How can this be possible in a Country with Founders that wrote the words contained in the Declaration of Independence?
What does that say about us as a people, literally being party to the oppression and tyranny of this government?
Has this made you stop and think about what is happening in our Country and how our freedoms and liberties are being taken from us on a daily basis.
Do you consent to this?
Remember, no government can exist if the citizens remove their consent to be governed. They may try to use force to regain that consent but if the consent is never given, the government will eventually die.