Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 7-9-87 We don't know how people are following the i

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Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 7-9-87 We don't know how people are following the ideas of democracy as given by the Declaration of Independence but people are certainly following the principle of the pursuit of happiness. One interesting thing about the drafters of that Declaration of Independence, which was written on the fourth of July 1776. The drafters of that cornerstone of democracy were religious men. That fact is reflected in the document itself. The document states in its famous second paragraph: "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." This particular sentence of that Declaration of Independence probably could not be written by our leaders of government today. Today, there is too much anti-religious sentiment coming from various interest groups that among such people, it is no longer a self-evident truth that a Creator exists. In other words, the existence of a Creator has become a subject of controversy. It was not that the drafters of the Declaration of Independence were secular humanists and believed firmly in the separation of Church and State. If so, they would have omitted any reference to God the Creator, let alone any mention that God had created man and given man certain liberties. But today when we try to even suggest to our children in the public schools that God is the Creator, so many people are crying that this is illegal. Unlike the ideas given to us by our great American forefathers who thought that the existence of a Supreme Creator is self-evident truth, today our leaders are denying to even admit to the idea of a Creator and are congratulating themselves on the wisdom of evading the mention of God. At one time in our history, there used to be slogans like, "In God We Trust," "God Bless America," or, "One Nation Under God,"; but now the slightest reference to God brings a great deal of controversy. The secular leaders' strategy is: If the people want to know about God, then let them go to Church and the Government will have nothing to do with mentioning God. That's not a bad idea; however, whereas in the past, Government was God-fearing enough to openly admitting its religiosity, today, secular leaders congratulate themselves on avoiding taking a stance on the existence of God. This noncommittal stance on the God question is nothing at all to be proud of. Now people are talking about a widespread lack of morality among our politicians, judges, school teachers, medical men, religious men and scientists--what to speak of those who are less socially responsible. The reason is that people are becoming progressively godless. The very foundation of democracy as given in the Declaration of Independence admits openly the link between the Creator and Man. But today, we may have denied and broken that divine connection. If we left it to our leaders today to draft a similar document, it would reflect today's atmosphere of godlessness. For example, in the words of secular humanists who do not admit to the existence of God, the Declaration would sound like this: "We hold these truths to be mutually acceptable, that all men are equals, that they are guaranteed by a court of law with certain Rights which may vary according to the deliberative voice of the Majority." If left to scientists, who cannot scientifically understand God, they might write the Declaration of Independence like this: "We theorize that in all probability men have evolved with similar Characteristics, that they are endowed with certain biological and psychological Needs, that among these are Survival, and the pursuit of Mental and Sensual Fulfillment." Atheists would also have their suggestions which would read: "We hold these ideas to be mutually acceptable, that all men should live any way they choose in the name of Life and Liberty, so long as their pursuit of Happiness doesn't interfere with another's pursuit of Happiness." Finally, intolerant religious groups might offer this wording: "We hold these truths to be scripturally self-evident, that all men are created to renounce the Devil, that they are allowed by the Creator to enjoy the pleasures of Life and Liberty, and pursue Happiness only after renouncing all other false religions which are only creations of Satan." However, the drafters of the Declaration of Independence did not avoid the mention of the Creator; they were not so secular that acknowledging His existence was cause for controversy. Just the opposite; they thought that the existence of a Supreme Creator was self-evident. But America has changed over the course of two- hundred years. Back then, the idea of a Supreme Creator who created men and gave them certain liberties was self-evident truth. --Vaishnava Dasa


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