Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident
we approach this national holiday celebrating our nation's birth,
I think it is wise to read again those great words from the Declaration
of Independence of July 4, 1776:
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.
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty,
and the pursuit
I was in school we had to memorize these words, and I find that
I return to them often. Sometimes I wonder if we, as a nation
and as citizens of the world, still honor and conduct ourselves
according to the truths these words profess.
we understand human society as a living unity created by "the Laws of
Nature and of Nature's God"?
we live day to day as a people who believe and trust that all
people are indeed created
equal? That by the very nature of the One who created
them, they are endowed with unalienable Rights, rights that
cannot be made
alien to them?
on these declarations which commit this nation to the purposes
of peace has made me grasp even more deeply the oft-stated truth,
that God needs us to be partners with Him in bringing this world
and the peoples of this world to the fullness of life for which
we were all created.
needs us to bless, to heal, to comfort. God
needs us to teach, to speak, to lead.
are the instruments God is using to build a holy kingdom here
on the earth
for all the peoples of the earth. O God, make us strong and
Declaration concludes with these words. Perhaps they can be our
pledge as well during this celebration of the nation's founding.
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.
for the July
2, 2000, issue of THE CHRONICLE, the
newsletter of Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis,