During the past two months, I’ve read several articles about Obama omitting the phrase “by their Creator” when quoting from the Declaration of Independence. Most of these articles have pointed out three examples. I’ve found a few more which I’ll quote from below. I went to http://www.whitehouse.gov and clicked on “Briefing Room”. I searched the site using the words “Inalienable“, “Unalienable“, and “Creator“.
I also tried searching under “endowed” and got back a whole lot of entries using the phrase “National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)” (Yosi, you are missed…) while very few contained the word “Creator“.
Note: that Obama likes to use “inalienable” instead of “unalienable” (see bottom of this post)
October 18, 2010:
Remarks by the President at a DSCC Dinner in Rockville, Maryland:
Most of us here came from someplace else — or our parents came from someplace else, or our grandparents, our great grandparents came from someplace else. And they were inspired by a particular idea, this idea of America. As wonderful as the land is here in the United States, as much as we have been blessed by the bounty of this magnificent continent that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, what makes this place special is not something physical. It has to do with this idea that was started by 13 colonies that decided to throw off the yoke of an empire, and said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
October 17, 2010:
Remarks by the President and First Lady at a Reception for Governor Ted Strickland:
But I said during the campaign, this has never been easy. This has never been easy. The idea of America has never been easy. The notion of 13 colonies coming together and overthrowing the greatest empire in the world, and then drafting a document that says, we find these truths to be self-evident, that all mean are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights — that’s hard.
September 23, 2010:
Remarks by the President at a DCCC/DSCC Dinner, Roosevelt Hotel, New York, New York:
And what was sustaining us was that sense that — that North Star, that sense that, you know what, if we stay true to our values, if we believe that all people are created equal and everybody is endowed with certain inalienable rights and we’re going to make those words live, and we’re going to give everybody opportunity, everybody a ladder into the middle class, every child able to go as far as their dreams will take them — if we stay true to that, then we’re going to be able to maintain the energy and the focus, the fight, the gumption to get stuff done. And it may not always happen in our lifetimes. And we may sometimes experience disappointments. And sometimes compromises are going to be made. But we know where we’re going.
September 15, 2010:
Remarks by the President at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 33rd Annual Awards Gala:
So let me close by saying this. Long before America was even an idea, this land of plenty was home to many peoples. To British and French, to Dutch and Spanish, to Mexican — (applause) — to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land. We didn’t always get along. But over the centuries, what eventually bound us together — what made us all Americans — was not a matter of blood, it wasn’t a matter of birth. It was faith and fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights: life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
September 11, 2010:
Remarks by the President at the Pentagon Memorial:
For our cause is just. Our spirit is strong. Our resolve is unwavering. Like generations before us, let us come together today and all days to affirm certain inalienable rights, to affirm life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. On this day and the days to come, we choose to stay true to our best selves — as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
September 10, 2010:
Press Conference by President Obama:
With respect to the mosque in New York, I think I’ve been pretty clear on my position here, and that is, is that this country stands for the proposition that all men and women are created equal; that they have certain inalienable rights — one of those inalienable rights is to practice their religion freely. And what that means is that if you could build a church on a site, you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a Hindu temple on a site, then you should be able to build a mosque on the site.
June 07, 2010:
Remarks by the President at Ford’s Theatre:
It was a spirit that would echo through time and space: to an Illinois rail-splitter who vowed that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth. To a young preacher who believed that, even if he didn’t get there with us, we would reach the Promised Land. And across an ocean, to generations of South Africans who rose up in search of the same inalienable rights that had been put to paper in this country so many years ago.
December 09, 2009:
A PROCLAMATION: Presidential Proclamation–Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week:
More than 60 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, declaring the “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights” of all human beings as the “foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This self-evident truth guides us today. Although every country and culture is unique, certain rights are universal: the freedom of people — including women and ethnic and religious minorities — to live as they choose, speak their minds, organize peacefully and have a say in how they are governed, with confidence in the rule of law. History shows that countries that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, secure, and successful.
In the United States, these fundamental rights are the core of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. They are the values that define us as a people, the ideals that challenge us to perfect our union, and the liberties that generations of Americans have fought to preserve at home and abroad. Indeed, fidelity to our fundamental values is one of America’s greatest strengths and the reason we stand in solidarity with those who seek these rights, wherever they live.
Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week must be our call to action. As Americans, we must keep striving to live up to our founding ideals. As a Nation, the United States will always side with the innocent whose rights are denied, the oppressed who yearn for equality, and all those around the world who strive for freedom. As members of what President Franklin Roosevelt called “the human community,” we will never waver in our pursuit of the rights, dignity, and security of every human being.
September 17, 2009:
A PROCLAMATION: CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAY, CONSTITUTION WEEK, 2009
The United States Constitution has withstood the test of time for more than two centuries as our Nation’s charter of government and the guarantor of our liberties. Signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, this founding document reflects our core values and enshrines the truths set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are each endowed with certain unalienable rights. As the beneficiaries of these rights, all Americans have a solemn obligation to participate in our democracy so that it remains vibrant, strong, and responsiveto the needs of our citizens.
July 11, 2009:
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT MILLS OF GHANA AT DEPARTURE CEREMONY, Accra, Ghana:
So we in America are proud of our partnership with Ghana. Together we’ve worked to advance education and fight poverty. We’ve made real and measurable strides in fighting diseases from malaria to tuberculosis to polio and neglected tropical diseases. This is a partnership we intend to continue. It’s a partnership based not just on shared interests, but on shared ideals – ideals forged in struggles for independence that have made our countries who they are.
We believe that democracy is not simply a gift from previous generations, but a responsibility for each generation to preserve and to pass on. We believe that no one, whether it’s through the influence of politics, the power of money, or the fear of force is above the law. And we believe that we’re all equal, all endowed with basic human dignity, all entitled to basic human rights. It is up to each of us, every one of us, to uphold those ideals. This is true not just in Ghana but for all of Africa. America wants to partner with the people and nations of Africa, but we all know that the future of Africa is in the hands of Africa.
February 2, 2009:
A PROCLAMATION: NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, 2009
The history of African Americans is unique and rich, and one that has helped to define what it means to be an American. Arriving on ships on the shores of North America more than 300 years ago, recognized more as possessions than people, African Americans have come to know the freedoms fought for in establishing the United States and gained through the use of our founding principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly, and due process of law. The ideals of the Founders became more real and more true for every citizen as African Americans pressed us to realize our full potential as a Nation and to uphold those ideals for all who enter into our borders and embrace the notion that we are all endowed with certain unalienable rights.
Here are the examples that I’ve been able to find of Obama using the “by their Creator” phrase:
July 6, 2010:
Remarks by the President at Independence Day Celebration, Blue Room Balcony, July 4, 2010:
Two hundred and thirty-four years later, the words are just as bold, just as revolutionary, as they were when they were first pronounced: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
And here in a still young century, let us renew our commitment to stand with those around the world who, like us, still believe in that simple yet revolutionary notion —- that we are all endowed by our Creator “with certain unalienable rights.”
May 22, 2010:
Remarks by the President at United States Military Academy at West Point Commencement, Michie Stadium, West Point, New York
But this nation was founded upon a different notion. We believe, “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.” (Applause.) And that truth has bound us together, a nation populated by people from around the globe, enduring hardship and achieving greatness as one people. And that belief is as true today as it was 200 years ago. It is a belief that has been claimed by people of every race and religion in every region of the world. Can anybody doubt that this belief will be any less true — any less powerful — two years, two decades, or even two centuries from now?
May 17, 2009:
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
But as you leave here today, remember the lessons of Cardinal Bernardin, of Father Hesburgh, of movements for change both large and small. Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family, the same fulfillment of a life well lived. Remember that in the end, in some way we are all fishermen.
April 16, 2009:
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT DINNER WITH PRESIDENT CALDERON:
That’s the story of the separate struggles for independence that have made our nations who we are — struggles that are forged on this continent, two adjoining nations founded on a set of shared values; that our democracy is not simply a gift from a previous generation, but a responsibility for each generation to protect and to pass on to the next. We both understand that no one, whether through influence of politics, the power of money, or the fear of force, is above the law; and that we are, every one of us, equal, endowed with the basic human rights that spring not from our laws, but from our Maker.
here are examples from Vice President Joseph Biden:
July 04, 2010:
Remarks by the Vice President at a Fourth of July Reception, New Embassy Compound, Baghdad, Iraq:
They made a universal statement, applying to all mankind. They said, “We hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” free of any king or potentate, free of any foreign government.
May 06, 2010:
Remarks by Vice President Biden to the European Parliament:
I don’t need to tell this audience about Europe’s proud tradition of protecting citizens from government invasion of their privacy, a commitment grounded in respect for the inherent dignity of all people. We call them inalienable rights. We wrote them into our Constitution.
And America’s commitment to privacy is also profound, as profound as yours. Our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable search and seizures by the state, which as one of our most famous jurists — which one of our most famous jurists once dubbed, “the right to be let alone.” The Supreme Court of the United States has made clear that privacy is a constitutionally protected and fundamental right. And like the EU, the Supreme Court has characterized this right as a matter of personal “dignity.”
Indeed, no less than privacy, physical safety is also an inalienable right — physical safety is also an inalienable right. And a government that abdicates its duty to ensure the safety of its citizens violates their rights no less than a government that silences dissidents or imprisons accused criminals without trial.
Here are some articles about this subject:
October 20, 2010:
Obama omits ‘Creator’ from Declaration rights language again
by Thomas Lifson at American Thinker
October 19, 2010:
Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence
by Meredith Jessup at The Blaze
Obama Strips the ‘Creator’ from Declaration of Independence — Again
by Penny Starr at CNSnews.com
September 27, 2010:
Obama Again Omits ‘Creator’ When Speaking of ‘Inalienable Rights’ Cited in Declaration of Independence
By Terence P. Jeffrey at CNSnews.com
September 22, 2010:
One’s a Point, Two’s a Trend; Will Three Make A Pattern?
by Gregory S. Baylor – ADF Senior Counsel – at SPEAK UP.
September 20, 2010:
President Obama Ad-Lib Leaves Out “Creator”
by David Brody at The Brody File
September 19, 2010:
A Natural Law Lesson for Obama
by Jason McNew at American Thinker
Does President Obama Think Our Rights Come from Our Creator?
by Jeffrey H. Anderson at the Weekly Standard
September 18, 2010:
President Obama removes ‘Creator’ from the Declaration of Independence.
by Jason McNew at American Thinker
We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.
God and Gettysburg
“Under God” were Lincoln’s immortal words
by Robert George
How nice, I thought. Here is a convenient, pocket-sized version of our fundamental documents, including Lincoln’s great oration at Gettysburg on republican government. Although some might question the idea that a speech given more than eighty years after the Declaration qualifies as a founding text, its inclusion seemed to me entirely appropriate. By preserving the Union, albeit at a nearly incalculable cost in lives and suffering, Lincoln completed, in a sense, the American founding. Victory at Gettysburg really did ensure that government “by the people” and “for the people”—republican government—would not “perish from the earth.”
I recalled that in sixth grade I was required to memorize the address, and as I held the American Constitution Society’s pamphlet in my hands, I wondered whether I could still recite it from memory. So I began, silently reciting: “Four score and seven years ago . . . ,” until I reached “the world will little note nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.” Then I drew a blank. So I opened the pamphlet and read the final paragraph:
It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Deeply moving—but, I thought, something isn’t right. Did you notice what had been omitted? What’s missing is Lincoln’s description of the United States as a nation under God. What Lincoln actually said at Gettysburg was: “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” The American Constitution Society had omitted Lincoln’s reference to the United States as a nation under God from the address he gave at the dedication of the burial ground at Gettysburg.
At the time, staring at the text, I wondered whether it was an innocent, inadvertent error—a typo, perhaps. It seemed more likely, though, that here is the apex of the secularist ideology that has attained a status not unlike that of religious orthodoxy among liberal legal scholars and political activists. Nothing is sacred, as it were—not even the facts of American history, not even the words spoken by Abraham Lincoln at the most solemn ceremony of our nation’s history.
The omission of the words “under God” in a document characterized as a founding text by a liberal legal advocacy organization in the context of our contemporary debates over the role of religion in American public life and the meaning of the Constitution’s provisions pertaining to religion is just too convenient. We now have positive evidence that they know exactly what they are doing, and, to achieve the result they want, they are willing to violate scholarly consensus, common sense, and the memorization of generations of schoolchildren.
Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation
by Ronald Reagan
(This essay originally ran in the spring of 1983 in the quarterly journal Human Life Review.)
Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the “quality of life” ethic.
I have no trouble identifying the answer our nation has always given to this basic question, and the answer that I hope and pray it will give in the future. American was founded by men and women who shared a vision of the value of each and every individual. They stated this vision clearly from the very start in the Declaration of Independence, using words that every schoolboy and schoolgirl can recite:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.
We fought a terrible war to guarantee that one category of mankind — black people in America — could not be denied the inalienable rights with which their Creator endowed them. The great champion of the sanctity of all human life in that day, Abraham Lincoln, gave us his assessment of the Declaration’s purpose. Speaking of the framers of that noble document, he said:
“This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on. . . They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.”
(much more at link)
Unalienable vs. inalienable rights, the Alito nomination and China
by Mary Mostert at RenewAmerica
The last two chapters of my books are entitled “Defending Freedom in the 21st Century Reign of Terror” and “God and Government in the 21st Century.” Those chapters explain the difference in Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration, which read, “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all mean are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson’s wording used later when he and Lafayette wrote the French Declaration of Rights reflected his Deist philosophy. He did not believe in a loving, caring Heavenly Father.
However, members of the Declaration committee of the Continental Congress that had been selected to write the document included Benjamin Franklin and John Adams who had different beliefs. The word “inalienable” was changed to “unalienable” and read “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”
An “unalienable” right cannot be transferred. You cannot transfer your life to someone else — or your liberty or happiness. An “inalienable” right, such as ownership of property or a title or a degree, can be transferred and governments can decide who owns property or has a title. [...]
from commenter brianbonner at this link:
author: If you are going to quote from the Declaration of Independence get it right, it is Unalienable rights not inalienable rights and there is a huge difference, you will need to dig for this I found it in an 1828 dictionary. Unalienable right cannot not be taken from you, inalienable rights can be altered by law. The newer “evolved” dictionaries says it has the same meaning; gee I wonder why?
UPDATE: WOW! Obama has just included “by our Creator” in his latest speech on Friday, October 22. As reported by Doug Powers at Malkin’s blog and America Pwn3d. He still, though, continues to use “inalienable” instead of “unalienable”.