Vic Biorseth, Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Jefferson was a wordy fellow, and the Congress edited and cut his words down considerably, somewhat to his consternation. However, his zeal for individual liberty and an end to tyranny still shines through. He, and the other signers, knew full well that they were signing their death warrants by signing this document. The beginning Revolution was divided, roughly, one-third in favor of the split, one-third opposed to it, and one-third on the fence; these were referred to by Benjamin Franklin as Mug-Wumps, with their mugs hanging on one side of the fence, and their wumps on the other. As war progressed, popular support for the cause grew radically until a clear majority sought a free United States.
Jefferson speaks to us today. Listen to him.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen
united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. .
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. .
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. .
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. .
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. .
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. .
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. .
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. .
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. .
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. .
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. .
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. .
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: .
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: .
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: .
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: .
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: .
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: .
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: .
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies.
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: .
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. .
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. .
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. .
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. .
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. .
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. .
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. .
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. .
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — 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. .
— John Hancock.
Robert Treat Paine,
Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
Richard Henry Lee,
Thomas Nelson, Jr.,
Francis Lightfoot Lee,
Thomas Heyward, Jr.,
Thomas Lynch, Jr.,
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Date: Mon Jun 27 18:49:05 2011
From: Fr. Harold L Trott, SSC
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
I agree with you on almost everything-- but praise for Thomas Jefferson is not one of them. He was no friend of orthodox Christianity and Judaeo-Christian civilization. A product of the French and British Enlightments, the seeds of his thought have done their part to destroy Judaeo-Christian civilization. He was a genius but a hypocrite, an adulterer with his own slaves (whom he didn't believe were "created equal", a Deist, and deserves no praise!
Date: Tue Jun 23 06:19:28 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
I disagree. Jefferson was raised in a Protestant home and instilled with the Protestant ethos from childhood. That is how he told right from wrong. His later dabbling in the then-current elitist fad of Deism was little different from many of his contemporaries, Washington included. Note that Washington was also a Mason, but that fact does not negate his greatness or his contribution to America.
That Jefferson was a sinner should be no surprise, nor should the fact of his other imperfections. Perhaps his most grievous sin involved a re-writing of the New Testament, eliminating all of the miracles. But the bottom line here is that the Declaration of Independence came, almost entirely, out of his mind. Few men contributed more to what America is today (or should be) than Jefferson. Madison, perhaps; maybe Adams; but the words of Jefferson, the gentleman, are inscribed indelibly in history as the foundation of this nation. Whatever his other failures in life, he will always be praiseworthy in my eyes for his selfless, life-risking commitment to liberty.
The strongest differences between Jefferson and us were theological, and pretty much the same as the differences between us and, say, Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now, I dearly love to argue with Mormons and with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I think it might have been wonderful to have argued with Jefferson on theology and Scripture, except that, back in those days, if the argument got too strong we might have wound up dueling, and I never learned to use a sword.
But again, these are theological differences, and while they are vitally important to the souls of men, it is the moral code that binds us together as Americans. As wildly theologically different as Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Catholics are, I have marched beside them in the past and I would do it again if need be, and their professed faith, even as heretical as I believe it to be, would not stop me from voting for one of them in an American election.
Jefferson, by the way, tried to get an anti-slavery clause into his Declaration of Independence, but it was narrowly defeated. He, and other founders, wanted everyone to free their slaves at the same time; otherwise, it would mean financial ruin for those who did, and financial riches for those who did not. He was out-voted. His original draft was much, much longer, and more praiseworthy, but it was then subjected to the political realities of the day, and to great political compromise. It got the nation started.
Monday, October 01, 2012
As part of the ongoing effort to upgrade this whole website, upgraded this webpage to the new BB 2.0 - SBI! 3.0 release and to make use of the new reusable code features.
An earlier phase of this major conversion corrupted or adversely affected some fonts, alignments, quotes and tables in the previously published webpages. Not to worry; this phase is converting them all, one by one. Eventually, every webpage on this site will have the same look and feel as this one.
LOVE this new release!
Date: Mon Oct 01 07:11:12 2012
From: Vic Biorseth
Since I last looked at this page, I have learned (through The Blaze TV) that I had been mal-educated on Jefferson’s theological flaws and possible character flaws. The Bible he produced and printed at his own expense was a teaching aid for Indians in language they could understand, and it did NOT exclude any miracles; it was accurate in translation. And, the supposed affair with a slave lady involved a relative, not Thomas Jefferson.
That’s the result of public education, and of any education administered by teachers who learned the teaching trade at Columbia or similar teaching institutions. What can I say?
Date: Tue Dec 02 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
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