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Americans must remember our founding beliefs Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

Thank you for your editorial, “We’re better than this!” in the November 1 Catholic Herald. The vision that all men are created equal anchors our respect for each other and inspires our behavior toward each other.

This belief moved our country’s founders to break away from the British Empire, to declare independence, and begin the process of developing a workable self-governing system. Neighboring Canada, for instance, did not have such an inspiration and remained a part of the British empire for decades.

The Declaration of Independence continues from your citation to read: “That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, . . .”
The history of 242 years obligates us to take a more inclusive view, that all human beings are created equal, not just the white men of property allowed to vote in the first years of our republic. Americans have fought a civil war in which around 650,000 died, endured thousands of lynchings, assassinations of civil rights leaders, workers, and family members, and fought in Congress and courts to make our founding belief real.

American citizens must remember our founding beliefs and their implications for our personal, government, and social actions. Might we recite this belief based upon the Declaration of Independence and enhanced by our history instead of pledging to a flag that stands for the republic. The Pledge of Allegiance reasserts our allegiance to an idea; the Declaration of Independence is that idea.

“WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Human Beings are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. ­That to Secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Humans, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”

Bill Dagnon, Baraboo