Had Richard Greene checked the Declaration of Independence, he would have seen that it asserts nothing like what is alleged in his Sunday column (“Abortion ruling defies Declaration of Independence”).
What he cited was the wording in a draft, which was eventually omitted.
The Declaration did not describe rights as “God-given.” Instead, men were alleged to be “endowed by their Creator” with such rights.
Nor did Thomas Jefferson “create the phrase” — he modified John Locke’s phrase — that “reason,” not God, “teaches” us that “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.”
Locke believed, as undoubtedly did Jefferson the Deist, that appeals to the Divinity have no place in political argument.
Neither Locke nor Jefferson believed that it applied to a group of undifferentiated cells, or even an embryo. Nor should they.
Like the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, Greene the “originalist” thinks that the ideas of the “originals” are those that most resemble theirs. Ignorant, incompetent or dishonest.
The Declaration uses the term “among which” in defining inalienable rights.
This means that those rights stated are not limited and that there are others.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that by protecting other rights, including the rights of religion and privacy.
In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the court majority stated that, at the heart of liberty, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life.”
The court has consistently stated that the genius of our democracy is the rights of those of different cultures, religions and thoughts to have voices that are entitled to be heard and rights to be protected.
I’ve never seen a speed trap on the Chisholm Trail Parkway. The speed limits are posted and visible to all who care. The police presence is obvious and comforting. I thank them.
With its freedom from most 18-wheelers, controlled traffic speeds, delightful vegetation and manicured roadways, the CTP is worth the price.
Those too important to be constrained by speed limits should be prepared to pay the penalty for abusing others’ enjoyment and safety.