What Do Americans Believe? Thoughts on the Declaration’s Preamble

Written by Judge Kenton Skarin

Republished with permission from judgekenton.com.

The genius of the Declaration of Independence is the way it packs the entire philosophy of American government into a very few lines.  Listen to what it tells us:

1) “We hold these truths to be self-evident” – What follows is so true that anyone can see it for themselves.

2) “all men are created equal” – People are not “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” in Dr. King’s invocation of this truth.

3) all are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” – Freedoms come not as grudging concessions from tyrants but from the essence of how we were made.

4) “among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – Our divine birthright gives us these rights, still further protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

5) “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men” – Government exists to protect our rights, not to serve the government or perpetuate its powers.

6) “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” – Government only can act because we the people loan it our consent, and it only keeps that power as long as we agree.

While you celebrate our independence, remember why we are free and what our government owes to us as a result.

Kenton Skarin currently serves as a judge of the Illinois 18th Judicial Circuit, the trial court for almost one million people in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is happily married and the father of nine children. They live in DuPage County where Kenton was born and raised. To learn more about his candidacy for Illinois’ Third Appellate District, please visit judgekenton.com.