Unalienable Rights

Yesterday a former student of mine posed a very simple question on Facebook, “Can anyone explain to me why I’m “supposed” to be supporting Israel?” In response she has had people run the spectrum from Israel being God’s chosen people and we should support them blindly to one response that finished with a flourish, “… Its sad, but its hard to trust anyone with the Muslim faith because they turn on everyone and will sacrifice even their children.” Can we please have a logical discussion?

Have we become this blind to our fellow humans who are suffering? Do we still stand for the rights we did in 1776?

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence
July 4, 1776

When we rose against a government that failed to meet our needs our forebears rebelled and threw off the yoke of British oppression. How can we not see now that all people have the right to live in peace. The Palestinians should not live in fear of constant invasion, the Israelis have the right to live without the fear of a rocket attack and all people of faith around the world have the inalienable human right to worship however they like. These are our goals as Americans, we are heirs to greatness!

At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln said, ” that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Yet our nation has for too long stood by while those seeking self-rule are held down by oppressive regimes and when they do rise, we too often support the dictator who does what we want instead of the Republic that would do the will of the people.

So, no I do not support Israel blindly, nor do I support the Palestinians, Ukranians or any other group blindly. Let us talk about issues and stay out of the business of blindly supporting any group. The way forward for America is to build Democracy and self-rule around the world without trying to control anything except ourselves. Give the people a voice. While we may not agree with what they say, they have the inalienable human right to say it none the less.


As a postlude, inalienable and unalienable are interchangable. The final draft of the Declaration uses unalienable, but other drafts had inalienable. Click here to read more.


About Hiram

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
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