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Michael Maher S.J.Jul 4, 2024 12:00:00 AM1 min read

4 July 2024

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

On this Independence Day, it may be worthwhile to recall three self-evident propositions penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by others. These propositions are that this a Creator who is responsible for creation, that this same creator instilled into the human person the dignity of inalaible rights, and that governments are instituted among men to safeguard these rights. Rights, according to the Declaration of Indepdence are not created by the State, they are prior to the state as objects of the Creator’s will. Therefore, the source of rights is not the State, the source of rights is God. When people want to remove God from Society, even the God that is known by reason, one wonders where these same people will place the foundation of human rights?  Although the Creator described in the Declaration of Independence is the God known by reason, Thomas Aquinas demonstrated that which is known by reason supports what we hold in faith. Removal of the God of reason removes the foundation of rights and leaves us to the whim of majority rule or worse, survival of the fittest. While eating our grilled hamburgers, let’s recall that today’s celebration is not so much one of Independence than that of recognition, a recognition that there is a God, God is the source of rights, and governments are established to protect these God-given rights.