Commentary

Biden Attacks America's Founding Principle

Terence P. Jeffrey | September 7, 2022 | 4:19am EDT
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President Joe Biden speaks about the soul of the nation outside of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 1, 2022. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks about the soul of the nation outside of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 1, 2022. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

When the Founders decided it was time for Americans to assume "the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them," they did so while plainly stating a universally applicable principle.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident," they declared, "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."

When President Joe Biden stood in front of Independence Hall last Thursday night, he started his speech by inaccurately paraphrasing these words.

"This," said Biden, "is where America made its Declaration of Independence to the world more than two centuries ago with an idea, unique among nations, that in America, we're all created equal."

No, the Founders did not say "that in America, we're all created equal." They said "all men are created equal."

They also said it is our Creator who endows all men with rights, including "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Biden did not mention our Creator in this context.

Nor, as Biden claimed, was this "an idea, unique among nations."

The Declaration imposed no geographical or temporal limits on the rights that God had granted all human beings.

Indeed, as this column has noted before, Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, insisted it was based on ancient principles that were broadly embraced by the American people.

"This was the object of the Declaration of Independence," Jefferson said in a letter he sent to Henry Lee in 1825. "Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take.

"Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion," wrote Jefferson.

"All its authority," he said, "rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversations, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc."

Cicero? Could Jefferson have seriously argued that a Roman senator who lived in the first century B.C. could have expressed the same principles and sentiments that Americans in the 18th century wished to express in declaring their independence from Great Britain?

Yes.

As this column has also noted before, Cicero, in his Treatise on the Commonwealth, declared that God is the author of a "true law" that all men and nations must obey.

"There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil," Cicero wrote.

"It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must forever reign, eternal and imperishable," he said.

"God himself," said Cicero, "is its author, its promulgator, its enforcer."

This law authored by God — that protects our rights to life and liberty — is what the Founders were talking about when they wrote the Declaration and said: "That to secure these rights, Government are instituted among Men ..."

When Biden cited the Declaration near the beginning of his speech in Philadelphia, he made no immediate reference to the Creator or to the rights to life and liberty.

He would only invoke God in vague language near the end of his speech — that, again, did not defend the rights to life and liberty.

But near the beginning — in euphemistic language — he did talk about a "right" to kill an unborn child and a "right" for two men to marry each other.

He argued that "MAGA" Republicans wanted to take these "rights" away.

"MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love," said Biden.

The problem with Biden's alleged "right" for two men to marry each other or for a doctor to kill an unborn child is that such acts can never be reconciled with the Laws of Nature and Nature's God that our Founders invoked when declaring our independence and that Cicero invoked when defending the rights of Romans.

Killing an unborn child violates the natural law, as does same-sex marriage.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that homosexual acts "are contrary to the natural law."

St. Pope John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae that "every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree."

Yet, standing in front of Independence Hall, Biden advocated a right to same-sex marriage and to killing the unborn — both of which violate the Laws of Nature and Nature's God.

"The soul of America is defined by the sacred proposition that all are created equal in the image of God. That all are entitled to be treated with decency, dignity, and respect," Biden said toward the end of his speech.

How can this be reconciled with killing an unborn child or taking a newborn child and handing it over through adoption to two men who are "married" to each other?

Biden is attacking the immutable principles of natural law on which this nation was founded — and on which our continuing freedom depends.

(Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSNews.com.)

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