America’s position statement: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness

A vendor sells patriotic merchandise during a naturalization ceremony held by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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A vendor sells patriotic merchandise during a naturalization ceremony held by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Information spreads from our shore to all points of the known and unknown world within seconds.

Anyone with a basic understanding of the Internet can have “information” in a matter of seconds.

Yet, after all this time as living, breathing beings, Americans are forgetting the position statement most of us learned by heart in grade school.

“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.”

Make no mistake, the words in our Declaration of Independence were not meant for everyone when Thomas Jefferson wrote them.

All Patriots know that.

We were hopefully taught that in grade school.

Despite our founding fathers’ original intent, the American position statement has expanded to embrace all men and women despite the God they worship, the color of their skin or the love they choose.

The civil wars to get to this point were often deadly, but the meaning of the position statement is clear.

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The Declaration has become more than a “Dear John” letter to the crown or the reason we celebrate the Fourth of July.

It is fused into our DNA and is the blood that flows through every American vein.

I pray.

Clearly, not everyone holds these truths to be self-evident, (when have we ever gotten 325 million people to agree on one thing?). But when you get down to it, the vast majority of us do.

I pray.

Our truths are not to be debated or downgraded.

Don’t take them for granted.

The Declaration is not law like the Constitution, but it helps keep our delicate democracy balanced.

The position statement is more than “live and let live” or “don’t make none, won’t be none.”

It is “you have the right to live, the right to be free and the right to aim your rocket for the stars.”

We fall short, surely, but at the core of this nation is the belief, I pray, that all men and women are worthy.

We are all human.

We are all fully American.

Our eye color might be different. Our skin color might be different. But we are all equal even if we do not and will never agree.

You don’t have to like where I worship, who I am or who I love, but our social contract says I have a right to those things.

This is not a simple or easy position to take as a nation.

If our values were, they would be recognized by default by people all around the world.

There would be no dictatorships or oppression.

Our truths hold true.

They are sacred.

Despite the darkness of our shared past, these truths are undeniable and unalienable.

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