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HomeOpinionIf Court is “illegitimate,” What about the Declaration?

If Court is “illegitimate,” What about the Declaration?

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Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, some members of Congress, a few governors, and at least a couple of the most influential segments of the popular media have labeled the United States Supreme Court “illegitimate.” The Supreme Court was established by the adoption of the Constitution in September of 1787.

With the 4th of July holiday coming up this weekend, it makes you wonder if the 245-year-old Declaration of Independence, with all the liberating ideas embedded in it, could be adopted by today’s Congress when the critical race theory (CRT), cancel culture, and “wokeness” dominate the political scene and social media?

Would a generation whose concept of history has been molded by the internet take up arms in support of a sacred document that gave birth to what previous generations have called “the greatest nation in all of history”?

Can a generation weaned on platforms of communication built and controlled by “woke” corporate executives understand that courageous Americans of two and a half centuries ago who produced and acted upon a document that changed the world were a religious people?

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At the heart of the document are these familiar words: “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 them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

The delegates from the 13 colonies were meeting in Philadelphia in the spring and summer of 1776 as members of the Second Continental Congress when the idea of becoming independent from the British monarchy came to fruition. For these delegates, their Creator was the God of the Bible.

He is the one described in the book of John’s eighth chapter as “the truth who will set you free.”

The current generation, fewer than half of whom consider themselves religious, compared with 75 percent who did just 60 years before, might find it hard to believe that no less than 52 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were ardent churchmen and the others appeared to be Deists who believed in God and the Bible but were not affiliated with a church. Four trained to be ministers though only one was serving as a pastor.

The delegates prayed before adopting the Declaration in which they said they were “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world (God) for the rectitude of our intentions.” They closed the Declaration “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” and a mutual pledge to each other of “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Their Creator was NOT a “culturally invented category” of human beings called RACE designed by white people “in order to create and maintain social, and economic, and political inequalities between whites and non-whites, especially African Americans,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica’s explanation of CRT.

Although the ideas grew out of Marxism (that’s COMMUNISM for the social media generation), germinated in academia of the 1960s and 70s, and was formalized in a 1989 workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, today CRT is everywhere from elementary schools to military bases to industrial board rooms or even churches.

But can you see any promise of freedom or liberty there that compares with the Constitution which followed the Declaration and guaranteed free speech, the right to worship God in any manner you choose, the right to freely and peacefully assemble and a press unrestricted by the government?

As for the social media created “cancel culture,” there is no Creator at all. The practice of cancel culture is to organize your group to withdraw support for any public person or company or organization that you or your group disagrees with and then try to “cancel” them or their message from the public square, as described by the Pop Culture Dictionary. Pulling down statues is a part of it.

Those who consider themselves “woke” are their own Creator. They see themselves as an elite superior group qualified to decide what is politically correct and to impose that view on others.

“To hell with the Supreme Court!” screamed Congresswoman Maxine Waters on TV. “We will defy them!”

“This court has lost legitimacy!” vehemently declared Senator Elizabeth Warren.” They just took the last of it and torched it!”

Led by Oregon’s Kate Brown, the west coast governors described the court’s decision as “shameful” and The Washington Post decried “the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty of the court’s right-wing justices which lead to the conclusion that they have simply appointed themselves super-legislators free to impose a view of the United States as a White, Christian male-dominated society despite the values, beliefs, and choices of a majority of 330 million modern Americans.”

Don’t you wonder what the nation — or the world — would be like if this Independence Day culture resembled that at the beginning when Congress bought thousands of Bibles and recommended they be used in schools, most of which were church-related.

In fact, of the first 108 universities in this country, 106 were church-sponsored. Many of the earliest — Harvard, Brown, Yale, Princeton, William and Mary — started as seminaries to train clergymen.

And what if, as our first President, George Washington, did when he inaugurated the annual National Day of Prayer, our President would pray, in part: “I do recommend the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, and that will be…
“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or
private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the People…”

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Adon Taft
Adon Taft
Adon Taft was the religion editor for 37 of his 48 years with The Miami Herald. He taught social studies at Miami-Dade Community College and authored the chapters on religion in the three-volume history of the state, “ Florida from Indian Trail to Space Age,” edited by Dr. Charlton W. Tebeau and Ruby Leach Carson.
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