Two hundred thirty seven years ago, the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. At its core are two sentences that define what it means to be an American:
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…
To we Knights of Columbus, this is the armor, sword and shield that should inspire us as Americans.
Consider the following:
We hold these truths: We believe in these facts, not theories or abstractions.
To be self-evident: Plain for all to see and understand, without need for proof.
That all men are created equal: Everyone is a child of God, made in His own image.
That they are endowed by their Creator: (large C) God has given them to us.
With certain unalienable Rights: Rights that cannot be taken away.
That among these are: There are more, but the next ones are the most important ones.
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness: Notice the order: The Right to Life comes first and foremost, then Liberty, then the Pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights: People and governments may try to take them away.
Governments are instituted among Men: People start governments to keep and retain their rights, not to give them away.
Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed: The State exists for the sake of the people, not the other way around.
Our country was founded on principles and ideals. The further we stray from these ideals, the greater the risk that the Right to Life and the Freedom of Religious Liberty become imperiled.