Part 8: of a 28-part series
And so, [as were] advancing and promoting natural equality, again we have to deal with our own unbelief or belief. We have the opportunity in this country to grow in such an idea, to be presented with this proposition that all men are created equal, and then to struggle in it with ourselves. It has results, according to our individual progress. And it cannot be imposed. No belief is imposed.
But this idea has a chance, has an opportunity to flourish, because there are beneficial results to everybody, if this idea could somehow grow. It could not grow in Asia, or Europe, or Africa as much as it is here, because this is the foundation of our thinking, about our way of thinking. Its a phenomenal thing, that men come to this at different stages - and theyre not marching at the same beat - but they come to these ideas on their own.
The way we live as individuals is to, I call it, diffuse to spread the idea of the natural equality and individual worth of men and nations to diffuse or spread this idea into a world living with a very low view of the individual. We are here to advance an idea in a world that does not predominantly believe that all men have worth a world that has a low worth of the individual.
Thats why some of us are here. Thats why my parents came. Thats why some of your ancestors came - because they lived under a low view of who they were. Others had a low view of them, for no reason. And they found here an opportunity where this idea was growing, is growing, will continue to grow -- because its self-evident truth. The American response is the tendency to look not to the past, but to the future.
To be continued...
The fundamental principle of the American way of life is belief, and the people are working on it. Weve been struggling with this idea. How deep does this belief go in the individual and in the nation, in the independent worth of the individual? Real progress has to do with this idea. First of all, its based on mankinds common humanity -- in his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We have this in common, regardless of what grade of life, what history of life we have.
Where does this idea come from? Where does this declaration reason from? Again, heres the problem the root is that theres a wise, just, and perfect Creator the one who authored liberty, who does not impose His will on the will of any individual. Thats your view of God. Do you believe that theres a Creator of such a nature, who does not impose His will on others because Hes the author of liberty, and thats His idea? Besides, though, He is able to overrule the decisions of all men. He isnt bothered by our bad decisions. It doesnt bother Him. Theyre yours to make. Were made to make our own decisions. And Hes not going to violate that. And for that reason, were all equal in His sight. We have the capacity to make those decisions.
Although men are created as rational beings, individuals are liable to be irrational. You think so? Some of us are irrational sometimes, in thoughts and actions. And civil government is here to punish those who injure the life, liberty, and property of the innocent, which is again, unreasonable to do. Unprovoked anger, unprovoked offenses. Its irrational, again, to injure the things that are innocent. This is the American theory recognizing the human equality and brotherhood. The individual is the unit of society -- not a class, not an elite, but the individual himself is the basic unit of all society. Hes the cornerstone. Hes the makeup. Its the individual that we are serving and looking to, not a group of people at all.
To be continued...
So the first idea, we are progressing. I have to progress. I am working to believe the self-evident truth that all men are equal. I [need to be able to] look at someone who is exactly opposing me in every form, shape, and idea, and still say he is my equal not saying I have this, and you dont have this, and so forth, but really believing that that individual is my equal under the same Creator. This is easy to say, but not to do. I mean, how deep is my belief in that concept?
And by the way, not everybody believed it in 1776. In fact, most of the world does not, and did not even then. First of all, from the Old World, America came from somewhere. We came from the Old World. That would be Asia, Europe, and Africa. From the Old World came to America an entrenched idea, and its deeply entrenched. Thousands of years entrenched. [The idea is] that theres a natural inequality among men. Its absolutely so. I mean, lets get it down. Social order rests upon the assumed natural inequality of men, according to historians.
Now, you dont have to go too far beyond our borders to see that thats so. We know that. Females know that. Children know that. A mans worth is established by some social order, and a ranking based upon birth, wealth, power, property, education and Im putting in there for this season, party. [Theres] an order of men, comparing themselves with other men. Thats what we do all the time. Were always examining each other by each other. Were comparing ourselves with other men, and we already have our ranking system in our head.
Of least worth in this social order are the weak ones, whether theyre weak in finances, power, force, etc. Basically, women, children, and the poor are more worthless in this social order. And some arent worth living, having life of their own.
Now, we know thats true. We dont have to go far in our neighborhood to find out that not everybody believes every life has importance, has intrinsic worth, has usefulness. Some academia is going to tell you whether youre useful or not to live, whether youre fit to live or not!
To be continued...
This is what distinguishes the American from all other countries historically and traditionally. Its how we live. Its what we do, and what were striving to accomplish. Were maturing as a people, as imperfect as we are, acknowledging that we need to progress. We are in fact a demonstration of a historic phenomenon - an anomaly actually. Were putting a dependence not on others, but on ourselves as individuals.
If the American way of life is allegedly offensive to her enemies, I come to this conclusion: presumably, then, what are they offended by? What is it that causes such pain and injury to those that have a problem or have a conflict with the way we live?
To destroy America, if America is to be undone, then it is also to deny that idea of self-evident truth, that all men are created equal. That has to be trashed. We have to deny every opposition to despotic government, because thats what we represent. We oppose despotic government first, do we not, in the Declaration? We also deny the people the ability to govern themselves. We absolutely deny. Deny means to reject the thought, to reject it absolutely.
We recall, perhaps, in October 2001, just a month and a half or so after 9/11 I remember this speech here: The object of terrorism is to try to force us to change our way of life. And I wanted [Bush] to define our way of life. And it didnt come. Thats been sitting on the back burner since then. And I said, What is our way of life? Only this week, or the last two weeks, did I arrive at maybe some answer that I can be satisfied with. You may not be satisfied with it, but Im a happy camper. Something that satisfies my old soul, that I could say thats it for me (first-generation American-born).
To be continued...