Friday, September 21, 2007

All Men are created Equal

"Grandpa, what does it mean that all men were created equal?"

Grandpa just looked at me with eyes that showed surprise at my question. He then said;

"That depends, boy, on what you mean by the word equal. And don’t get me wrong I do not say that as President Clinton did when he said it in terms of the word is. There are many very valid means by which you can define the word equal. But I think you are asking it in terms of government and political terms as declared in the Declaration of Independence.

First, we should understand why the founding father’s created the Declaration of Independence in the first place.

First of all, it was a declaration of war against the government that ruled over them at the time, the very first declaration of war for this nation. If you read it you will see that they no longer just considered themselves as colonies of the English government but independent states that had the right to self-rule. And they knew that the king would not willingly allow them independence.

Second of all, they felt they needed to justify this action so that the world would know why they sought independence from their rightful ruler at the time and they did consider themselves as subjects of the king. It also declared a new philosophy of how a people should be ruled also.

At the time, monarchies were the norm of governments. And it was justified philosophically by the idea that monarchs ruled by a concept called the "divine right of kings". It declares political absolutism in regards to the rule of people. And based on this concept a colony would not be justified in declaring independence from the mother country and its monarch. For in doing so would, in essence, be declaring that one was going against the "Will" of God. To me, this proves that God’s Will was a central motivation of our founding fathers. And that they wished to do His will.

But within that concept was the right to overthrow the government if the king was shown to be a bad king. This alone would require that moral justification be declared. Thus, we have this document called the Declaration of Independence. It was a declaration that showed they was following the Will of God.

Another concept that could be declared as new in the Declaration of Independence was that the government derived its powers to rule directly from the people ruled and only indirectly from God. And that new concept was incorporated into our Constitution by declaring that Congress and Congress alone has the right to declare war.

Thirdly, to understand this new concept we must understand the succession of government. In a monarchy, succession is determined by birth. And since it is God who determines who would be born to whom then we can see the idea behind the concept of divine rights of kings. It was God who determine who would rule and it was God who determined who should be ruled.

We must also recognize that society was divided up into two classes, the class of royalty and the class of the common people and only those persons born of royalty was eligible to rule.

It is from this that the founding fathers declared that all men were created equal. They were declaring that no man was treated special by God by birth for the purpose of rule. And that each man was just as eligible to rule as any other. They showed this by creating a system of elections to determine who would rule.

So when you hear that our founding fathers were not men of God ask them to explain their idea of why they felt the need to justify themselves in regards to the Revolution.

One last thing must be thought about, boy, if one is to understand the minds of our founding fathers. In monarchial government a person rules for life. In the elective system that was set up, a person rules only for a specific short period of time. And when thought further on, the longest period of time allowed to rule is for the office of the Senate, the branch of office representing the States. And the shortest period of time is for the office that represents the people.

So, my boy, we can see that the phrase used was a statement in denial of the understanding of rule as believed at that time, not as a determinate of what people are as persons. It is not to be understood as people have come to the conclusion of equality as it is presently understood and promoted today.

People may be born as equals but that does not declare they maintain that equality throughout life. But politically speaking they do. For each are eligible throughout life for the office of rule. There once was a statement that recognized this and every parent passed this on to their children as an incentive for life. That statement was that anyone could grow up to be the President of the United States. "

I just nodded as he finished and then thought deeply about the whole idea of equality and its meaning. Given this understanding I knew it would require a whole new understanding of our government and the Constitution which guides us.

6 comments:

dcat said...

Like why are people trying to change the constitution?

It must be protected at every cost!

BTW: I like the look Griper.

The Griper said...

dcat,
why? the answer is easy, Political Ideology. and i believe that Sociology was a factor in it also.

and thank you for the compliment. i was getting bored with other look though i still kept the basic color themes. keep coming back there will be more changes too.

dcat said...

Sociology was only an idea! Too bad some stupid fool took it to the next level!

And you know it don't work!!!

The Griper said...

i agree with you that it doesn't work. but do you know why it doesn't work?

ababygrlsaqueen said...

Wow, this is really helpful. I am doing a debate for my team in school and my side is that all men were created equal. I had to find out what exactly it meant. my point of view is in the late 1700's to the early 1800's so it really helped that you went back all the way to the time of the declaration of independence. thank you! =)
~Robyn Allen

The Griper said...

he smiles, thank you, ababygrlsqueen, i hope it helps enough for you to win the debate.

just remember that there are three documents in regards to government that showed the founding faher's intent in regards to how the people were to be governed.

the first was the Declaration of Independence. It revealed how a government could abuse its right to govern. and see that the founding fathers intent was to establish a central government that would address abuse of the people it governed.

the second was Articles of Confederation which revealed the relationship between the States with each other and the federal government.

the third is the Constitution which was a document that was written to address some of the flaws in the Articles of Confederation.

when you take each into consideration a person must accept that it was not intended to be a government as it is now.

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