While traveling to Rhode Island for our fall retreat, Lani and I met our daughter, Anastasia, her family, and other friends in Washington, D. C. for Glenn Beck’s August 28 Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial. It was an inspiring event, centered on a call for America’s return to God. Although I remain skeptical about some of Glenn Beck’s views, I am convinced he is a patriot with a firm understanding of what has made our nation great. He highlights the importance of God at the founding of America, and puts God at the center of solutions for restoring our nation to economic, political, and moral soundness. At this point in history, I believe this is a voice that we need to hear.
President Obama’s appearance before the Hispanic Caucus on September 15 presented an eerie contrast to the Restoring Honor theme. In a glaring and unexplained misquote of the Declaration of Independence, he said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To every educated American the omission is stark: “Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” was a carefully crafted phrase written by Thomas Jefferson to make clear the source of authority in the new nation. The Declaration of Independence was an acknowledgement that our rights don’t come from a king, parliament, congress, or political party. Our rights come from God. Since this phrase constitutes the bedrock on which our nation was founded, its omission is astounding. We’ve grown somewhat accustomed to liberal efforts to remove God from our schools, public places, and money. Am I being overly suspicious wondering if there is also to be an effort to remove God from our history? This is not an academic question. If not from God, where do our rights come from? If not from God, why are they inalienable?