America’s Sacred Scriptures

By John D’Amico

The American people are “demanding that we realign our country’s compass with its founding principles” in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution! So says the Republican Party’s “Pledge toAmerica,” which champions smaller, more accountable government, economic freedom, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility. The Tea Party’s “Contract fromAmerica” calls for fiscal responsibility and limited government “consistent with the U.S. Constitution’s meaning,” asserting that “our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government.”

Republicans and Tea Partiers want the smallest possible federal government that taxes the least and interferes in daily life the least. Toward that end, they want to slash government spending, privatize and curtail Social Security and Medicare, defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act (deridingly referred to as “Obamacare”), eliminate Environmental Protection Agency regulations, and cut programs that mainly serve low-income Americans.

Are these policies and programs consistent with the core values and ideals underlying the Declaration and the Constitution? Only a probing analysis of the meaning and intent of our founding documents can help us answer this question. In We Hold These Truths (Macmillan 1987), the renowned 20th Century philosopher and educator Mortimer J. Adler called the Declaration of Independence, “the architectural blueprint” of theUnited States, from which “we can derive the fundamental principles of republican or constitutional government.” He wrote that from the Preamble of the Constitution, the articles that follow it, and their subsequent amendments, “we can come to understand the elaboration of those articles of political faith in terms of governmental aims, governmental structures, and governmental policies.”

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that:

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Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution | Tags: , | 14 Comments »