We hold these truths to be self-evident

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Jul 3, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    ..." with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."


     
  2. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    28
    Most beautiful thing I've ever read.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Should be required reading for everyone tomorrow, perhaps especially our leaders in Washington. The signers did, indeed, risk their lives, fortunes, and honor when putting their names to this great document.
     
  4. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    210
    It is a remarkable and beautiful statement that holds true to this day.

    Every morning I look at the old cemetary by the train station. Among those buried there are 63 men who were either soldiers, fifers, doctors or patriots. This document was very important to them also.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  5. Bravo

    Bravo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for posting Bruno!

    Will be reading this today at a celebration with friends and family - in Gwinnett County, GA - named after signer Button Gwinnett, interestingly enough.

    Great reminder that freedom isn't free!

    :usa:
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    A great document that all shoud read.

    However, I always find it ironic they included the phrase:

    "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"

    and then seemed to forget all about that phrase for the next 80 years.

    Maybe they actually thought that 3/5 meant "equal"?
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,749
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Two different documents Luigi.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Exactly. "All men created equal" didn't really mean "all men."

    It meant "all white men."
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,749
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Not even all white men.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Yes Luigi- like all documents - words and deeds didn't quite equate when they were issued. Remarkably- the founding fathers were human and not above considering their own interests when they conflicted with their stated principles. And yet- though the implementation of the principles in the Declaration was imperfect, the Declaration of Independence still became the foundation for the future because it publicized for all the world and posterity to read, two critical points that the founding fathers were rebelling to secure: that ALL are created equal; and that the Government only has the powers that the people grant it. All of the subsequent actions in US history stem from those two points. The Constitution is the law of the land but it is just a restating and further detailing of those two points. When the Constitution has conflicted with those two ideas- sooner or later it has changed either peacefully thru the courts and legislative action or by way of the Civil War. Either way- despite the attempt of some to denigrate the achievement because it wasn't perfectly executed to 21st Century standards-I think that this is the single most important governing document in world History. You may of course differ.:rolleyes:
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    How ever you need to justify their use of their fellow man as a beast of burden to make yourself feel better, have at it.

    "All men" were not created equal in their eyes. Some were nothing but property to be bought and sold.

    Spin it.
     
  12. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Whatever.

    For the rest of you- I hope that you enjoyed your Fireworks and Hot Dogs while you contemplated the concept of people signing a document that committed everything they had to a rebellion that promised a completely different philosphy of Government- one in which they determined that had the right to determine who would govern them and defined why the government had power at all. They didn't do so anonymously, and while they too had all kinds of disagreements and second guessing over what the ultimate meaning and outcome would look like, they actually put their names to what was treason- they very literally put their lives on the line- just as our fellow citizens who are veterans and members of the public safety world have done and are doing today. That's a pretty big deal however you wish to spin it.

    An example of both a great 4th of July celebration and honoring someone whose pledge to commit his life, fortune and honor almost cost him that life was at the Boston Pops concert last night on the Esplanade, when VMI Alum, Navy Vet and MBTA Police Officer Dic Donahue- grievously wounded in the aftermath of the Marathon bombings, took a turn as guest conductor:

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/video/9060617-highlights-from-the-boston-pops-spectacular/
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    606
    I swear, you could gripe about a free ****job. Oh, the founding fathers were racist slave-owners? What a revelation. You've enlightened us all.

    Try being less of a grump about every last god damn thing. You'll live longer.
     
  14. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    16
    We hold these truths....

    People such as yourselves make me damn proud to be an American. Because you certainly understand, what it takes to defend freedom, which is not free and there is cost. Thank you, to those all defending our freedom to let us celebrate it. Too, include all those you are now at thier Service Academi or ROTC program.

    God Bless and Godd Speed to you all,

    RGK
     
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    I'm certain your personal attack is covered by the TOS, shameful the mods allow such venom to be directed at a poster for stating facts about a founding document and the one that followed.

    Shameful.

    I guess "Freedom" and "created equal" means one thing to some, and obviously another thing to others.

    Carry on your rant.

    Again, shameful moderation for allowing the personal attack.
     
  16. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Ok folks- let's keep our rants to nonpersonal ones shall we? Rather remarkable that something as innocuous as celebrating the 4th of July would be controversial, but I guess virtually anything can be turned into a negative should one be so inclined. Nice work all around. :bang:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,749
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Independence Day is one of the few days we can actually honor a handful of politicians that put their lives on the line when they signed their names.

    The Declaration of Independence didn't form the United States, nor was the Constitution the first attempt to form a government.

    And then there is the fact that the British remained, decades after the end of the Revolutionary War.

    I don't need history to be perfect, or the history of my country to be spotless. Slavery was, and is a fact of life. It existed in every country, and it still exists through out the the world, even today. I don't lose sleep over that. Maybe I should, but I don't. I don't apologize for slavery in the British colonies or early United States. I don't support it either.

    Nothing said on this thread is "ground breaking". History has its ugly points... all history. Once we get that, it's not so hard to move past it, and try, in some small part, to keep it from getting uglier.

    As Billy Joel says "The good ole days weren't always good and tomorrow isn't as bad as it seems."
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Agreed, just as remarkable that saying "all men" didn't actually mean "all men" and someone pointing that out would be attacked for saying so, especially by one who claims moderator status.

    Mods giving such personal opinions should resign the Moderator status, and become members.

    Nice work, indeed.
     
  19. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Yes well... I certainly don't see how the Moderator (who was also the OP) attacked you here unless posting any clarifying or dissenting view from your own is a personal attack - which I don't believe is the case.

    To all I certainly hope that you enjoyed the birthday of this admittedly flawed nation and that you didn't suffer from too much BBQ or Sun while you were enjoying what was the quintessential 4th of july-very hot and perfect for the beach- miserable to watch a game at Fenway ( even though the Sox won) or work in the yard, but great to kick back and enjoy a cold one or two.:wink:
     
  20. Bravo

    Bravo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    You paint with a broad brush stroke. Your characterization of the signers as being in monolithic agreement over slavery is simply not accurate. A number of the signers were anti-slavery, including Roger Sherman and James Wilson, who proposed the three fifths compromise you reference (found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution) during the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

    While on the surface, the 3/5 concept is degrading in that it considered a slave to be 3/5 of a person (which is an understandably offensive concept in our day and time), in reality this was a political compromise that reduced the representation of slave states by 40% relative to their slave population. Understood within its historical context, this was a significant step forward in terms of calling out the hypocrisy of those who wanted slaves to be counted fully in terms of a state's population and proportional representation in the US House of Representatives, and yet would not count slaves as men on an equal footing with free-men who were afforded the right to vote.

    The compromise itself speaks to the ongoing tensions that existed over slavery, which were born out over subsequent decades of debate as the founders and those who followed them wrestled over the issue and its philosophical, political, religious, moral, social, and economic implications (good reference site addressing the abolition of the slave trade from the colonial US to the present is here: http://abolition.nypl.org/home/)

    The portion of the Declaration you quote is also significant in that it included the phrase "the pursuit of Happiness" -- prior statements, such as the "Right of the Colonists as Men" by Samuel Adams in 1772 spoke of Life, Liberty, and Property - also, John Locke's "Second Treatise on Government" from 1690 spoke of "life, health, liberty, or possessions." The exclusion of any reference to property or possessions is significant, and was a nod to those who opposed a statement that could have been construed as being sympathetic to the protection of a slave owner's right to view slaves as property.

    To sum up, while you appear to be taking a "glass half empty" view of the Declaration, pointing out accurately the divide between the ideals of the Declaration and the reality of how they were applied, I'd prefer a "glass half full" approach.

    The Declaration itself is a shining light - and the fact that it was crafted within such an imperfect historical context is all the more amazing. The language in the Declaration that "all men are created equal" in and of itself creates a tension, calling on future generations to justify how a practice that enslaves men and takes away their freedom can be reconciled with the self-evident declaration that all men have a God given and unalienable right to be free.

    The light of this beacon was reflected nearly 200 years later, on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, by Martin Luther King, Jr., in an often overlooked portion of his "I Have a Dream" speech:

    Hard to improve upon that... :smile:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page