The Three Unalienable Rights of the United States of America
The Drive to Live
According to the Bible, God is life and is the Source of all life. David confessed, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God (Ps. 42:2).” The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed, “But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King (Jer. 10:10).”
As strong believers in God and the Bible, the Framers openly stated the right to life as the first of three self-evident truths bestowed by God our Creator. The unalienable right to life is one of the greatest qualities this nation was built on. It is pivotal to our very existence and a validation of God’s love for His creation. Life is truly a great gift and blessing granted by God. And it is in this life that God directs us to live life freely and willingly in accordance with His moral standards.
The Founders’ ideals were to construct a government that has the rightful power to protect the vitality of human life, but not the power to control or destroy it. Life (and its religious freedoms) are not benevolent gifts from the government, but inherent rights that are given to each person – whether an unborn child or a debilitated individual unable to care for himself. Each life is unique and specially designed by the sovereign plans of God to execute and fulfill divine purposes that bring honor and glory to Him. This is what the Bible teaches and a powerful belief that built the nation of America.
The Drive to Be Free
Our Founders dared to dream big. They dreamed of establishing a free society of self-government, a society free from the scourge of tyranny. It was a dream that would motivate Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence as a grievance to King George III. A dream that would ignite the American Revolution, fought and won by freedom-loving patriots. The Founders defended and believed in an ordered society that cherished and perpetuated freedoms of expression and religion. They did not believe that liberty required a diminution of religion in public life, but that every American had the natural right to worship God as they chose, and pursue a life with vast liberty and opportunity.
However, the Founders knew that without the continual protection of the free expression of freedom, it would not last. Thus, they erected the U.S. Constitution and branches of government to protect the rights of the people. But leaving it up to the people to maintain and sustain their freedoms. John Adams pointedly stated, “Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.”
The Drive to Achieve
In his classic work, The Epic of America, James Truslow Adams coined the phrase: “American Dream.” Adams expressed his characterization of the “American Dream” with these sentiments:
The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
This description of the “American Dream” came from the vision of what Thomas Jefferson and many of our Founders sought to achieve and preserve for all Americans. Many of our Founders believed in a country where a self-governing democracy could succeed in providing its citizens the liberties that would afford them opportunities to freely achieve a dream bigger than themselves. They believed in a country where the common man could be given the chance to make a better life for his family and be free to speak and share his faith without being persecuted.
Our Founders never intended for government to be the classifier of citizens according to rank and file. To our Founders, living the “American Dream” was to aspire to greatness and to pursue it wholeheartedly. The “American Dream” was not intended for the faint of heart nor built on the selfish ambitions of the individual, but on the drive that comes from honoring God and providing a safe place for a family to live. As parents worked hard and cared for their families, they hoped and prayed that the future for their children looked bigger and brighter than their own.