Newsletter | March 17, 2022
America’s roadmap to liberty was laid out by the vision of our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, the cornerstone of what makes our nation like no other in human history is that we were founded on the concept of human liberty, derived from the recognition and truth that all men are created equal.
The last few months we’ve been exploring the Constitution, in particular the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. We’re continuing this week with our educational initiative by turning our attention to the country’s founding document, The Declaration of Independence. Published July 4, 1776, it announced not just our independence from British rule, but heralded a victory for human freedom throughout the ages.
Formally known as “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,” it was presented to the Second Continental Congress by the handful of members who had spent nearly a month drafting it — John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman, known as The Committee of Five. And on the fourth of July, the Second Continental Congress adopted it in Philadelphia where our Founding Fathers had convened.
The thirteen colonies had been at war against the British crown for more than a year and the Declaration officially announced that they regarded themselves as thirteen independent and sovereign states. These were New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Declaration, signed by 56 of America’s Founding Fathers, represented the former colonies’ first step in forming the United States of America.
To understand the nature and character of those men and the Declaration they signed at great risk to their lives, it’s important to realize they were men of faith. In their letters to each other and throughout their diaries, we find them drawing on the sources of religion, principally the Bible. For them, the very idea of liberty, and the prospect of a nation to be built on that concept, begins with the very origins of the known world, when God created man.
The Book of Genesis, Chapter 1 verse 27 (KJV), tells us that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
This is central to the Founders’ idea of human liberty. God created us all in His image. That’s what makes us equal. And if we are all equal, we are all free, for no man, no government has the right to take what God has given us. Here is how they articulated this in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:
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.
It’s not hard to see why this is one of the most famous statements in world history — it’s revolutionary. The Founders weren’t the first people to read the Bible. Others had been inspired and consoled by God’s word for thousands of years by the time the thirteen colonies broke with King George.
Others saw that the Bible teaches that all men are created in God’s image, but no one before the Founders had taken it as a truth that all men are created equal. Indeed, they believed it was self-evident: Never mind what Kings and counselors say — it is given to no man to rule others without their consent. And then the Founders built a nation on that truth.
Our great country is going through a difficult time at present, but one that the Founders foresaw. Being man-made things, governments are susceptible to corruption and tempted to abuse the powers granted to them by the governed. It is our right and responsibility as Americans to challenge and contest corrupt governance.
But to live in this moment is also a blessing. As free-born men and women made in the image of the Almighty, we are blessed to be alive at this time, called to reaffirm and preserve the liberties that our Founding Fathers fought and died for and left to us to pass down to our children. And that’s how we and all of you, our family and friends at America’s Future can commit to that revolutionary spirit set forth by our great precursors who left us this roadmap to liberty, the Declaration of Independence.
America’s Future Joins Call to Dismiss ERA Ratification Case
On Friday, March 11, 2022, twelve amici organizations, mostly nonprofit organizations including America’s Future, submitted an Amicus Brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in connection with State of Illinois and State of Nevada v David Ferriero, in his official capacity as Archivist of the United States, No. 21-5096 (2022).
At the heart of this case is an antiquated and expired movement to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution purporting to guarantee equal legal rights for American citizens regardless of gender. Lest we forget, since the birth of our nation, Americans have fought and died for freedom, liberty and equality. Undoubtedly one of the most steadfast and celebrated of them all is the “women’s movement.”
The women’s movement, particularly throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s (a revolutionary period of civil unrest and societal progress in America unto itself), the rise of the women’s movement hit its stride. While the women’s movement garnered more and more support over time, there was also a sharp divide within the leadership and rank and file and sooner than later, what it truly means to be a feminist was at issue.
This split within the movement came to a head in 1972 when the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed Congress and was quickly ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 states. At this time, before the ERA could alter the way of life in every American household, national leaders, both male and female, actually read the legislation and realized that despite its moniker, the ratification of the ERA Amendment to the Constitution would likely lead to adverse effects which would do everything but support women’s rights, including dismantling child custody rights and devastating rights to alimony. The ERA, Phyllis Schlafly (likely the most renowned feminist at that time opposing the ERA) realized would cause irreparable harm to women in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and beyond.
While proponents of the ERA drummed up support based on emotional rhetoric like “equal pay for equal work,” intellectuals and lawmakers understood the ERA was really about weaving a radical social agenda into our national framework of laws. As our Amicus brief states, the ERA would have resulted in shocking “subjecting women to the military draft and front-line combat; abolishing all laws regulating or prohibiting abortion; requiring taxpayer-funded abortions; undermining the proposition that marriage was only between a man and a woman; eliminating tax exemptions for churches with male-only clergy; ending single-sex schools and sports teams; establishing unisex prison cells, hospital and nursing home rooms, and school dormitories; and invalidating all legislation passed to protect women in the workplace.”
America’s Future along with the other named amici, posit that the Court of Appeals should affirm and uphold District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras’s dismissal of the Plaintiffs’ challenge to the Defendant’s refusal to certify the ERA as part of our Constitution. The District Judge dismissed this case for procedural reasons, including lack of standing to sue and the legal principle “laches,” which essentially stands for an unreasonable delay initiating suit or “sitting on your rights.” America’s Future believes the Court of Appeals should affirm the District Court’s dismissal and get rid of the ERA once and for all.
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