By Jim Whitt, Contributing Editor
If you want to know what led to the creation of the United States of America, you have to read the Declaration of Independence. The defining statement of this document would have to be: “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.”
There has never been a time in our history when we have fully lived up to the truths contained in that sentence, but I believe we have reached a time in our history when we are willfully abandoning them. If we were to pen a document today to define what our country has become, it would have to be known as the Declaration of Dependence. We no longer value liberty. Without liberty the rest of the rights are meaningless.
If we truly believe that we are endowed by our Creator with these rights, then we have proven to be unworthy. We are like the prodigal son who squandered his inheritance on what he believed to be the pursuit of happiness until one day he found himself financially and spiritually bankrupt. It was when he was eating at the trough with pigs that he realized he had become a pig, content to be fed rather than standing upright and feeding himself. If we, as a nation, look in the mirror, this is what we have become. We are prodigal pigs who have dined at the government trough until we have become so fat, dumb and clueless we are totally unaware we are on the way to the slaughterhouse. The ultimate irony is that obesity is our No. 1 health problem.
We, the pigs, haven’t had enough. Politicians promise to give us more and we vote for them, singing wee, wee, wee all the way home. We are more than $30 trillion in debt and continue to overspend our budget. When is enough, enough? We’re broke and yet we just can’t keep from spending more to keep the trough full.
Our spending is merely a symptom of our problem. It’s the tradeoff that is our undoing. We have chosen the devil’s bargain. We have traded our souls for the false promise of security, not realizing the price is liberty. Security is not an unalienable right. “Any man who trades liberty for security deserves neither,” Ben Franklin said. We are getting what we deserve. We have neither.
Perhaps there is still time for us to tread the path of the prodigal son and turn to the Creator who endowed us with our unalienable rights to ask for forgiveness. To confess that we have squandered our inheritance and admit that we have failed to be good stewards of a nation founded by people who valued liberty more than life itself: “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.”
It’s time to declare our independence … again.