“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.” (Declaration of Independence)
Thus, the remarkable vision of our Founders, all of whom were flawed human beings. We can be honest about the fact that the ideals of the Declaration were soon compromised with the passage of the Constitution, which denied full citizenship to women and full humanity to African slaves. Nevertheless, the vision of the Declaration survived, and it formed both the mind and soul of Abraham Lincoln as he moved America one step closer to its aspirations. When he wrote his 2nd Inaugural Address, presented to a bitterly divided country, it was clearly with the intention of uniting the citizens around a renewed commitment to the founding vision.
My prayer is that, in an America that is again bitterly divided, we will renew our understanding that the value of any human being is bestowed upon them by God. That each person is born with innate dignity and inalienable rights. That, in the midst of our legitimate disagreements and policy differences, and with the knowledge that we, too, are fallible human beings, we will once again be united by the ideals and vision that gave birth to a great nation.
Rev. Don Underwood