The Declaration of Independence uses an opening phrase…”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The authors use the term “among these”, which implies there are more than the three enumerated. The three are the ones necessary to explain why there is an uprising to the existing British government.
The Indiana Constitution uses the same language, other than inserting the equivalent word inalienable for unalienable.
Here in the middle Midwest, Indiana recently caused quite a stir with the passage of a bill to protect religious freedoms. Those favoring the bill believed they needed protection from government intrusion, while those against the bill believed they were facing religious intrusion. Once the bill was signed, the media and dissenters were on the issue like a pack of hungry wild dogs on fresh steak. People were marching, banners waving, national news people interviewing, Democrats were jousting, Republicans were defending, the Governor was back-peddling, was quite a sight to see. Convention groups were threatening cancellations, out-of-state business denounced the state, other states stated they would never travel here, and out-of-state colleges pulled their coaching staff from traveling to the NCAA basketball finals in Indianapolis. There was so much ranting and raving that it was like a dust storm, so thick you couldn’t see the sky. Within a week, the legislature met with stakeholders, drafted, voted, passed and signed an amendment to the religious freedom bill. The amendment was designed to create a “protected class” of people, the LGBT’s.
What is interesting, is that Indiana has always been a follower, never a leader in anything. Indiana followed, in some manner, 19 previous states that had passed religious freedom language, and just weeks later the Springfield Missouri voters voted to repeal their city anti-discrimination law.
Indiana, like all states and the federal government, uses a three branch system of government, legislative to write the laws, administrative to manage the laws, and judicial to make sure the imposition is just and fair.
Bully, a verb (Webster’s): to frighten, hurt, or threaten: to act like a bully toward someone, :to cause someone to do something by making threats or insults or by using force
What we saw develop in Indiana was a failure of the three branch system. Whether or not the law was right or wrong will never be determined. The judicial branch never got a chance to review the language. Instead, insults, threats and intimidation by individuals, resident and non-resident business leaders, many which had no stake hold in Indiana bypassed the order of government in favor of intimidation to get their opinion solidified in law.
As stated before, in this particular issue, the LGBT’s were looking for language to protect their segment of society, or to protect their class.
I am confused. The documents written over 200 years ago, was designed to do away with a class system, to do away with the royalty, rich, and the different classes, why would we want to go backwards and recreate classes. If we are writing language to protect a “class” we must be regenerating a class system. If the unalienable rights include life, liberty and pursuit of happiness-then what more is there? Everybody is protected to “enjoy” life, have liberty, and to pursue ( a life of ) happiness. Where is the language lacking?
However, if I am totally wrong, and protected classes are needed to be defined, then I want language to protect the class of left-handed people. Restaurant workers don’t respect those of us that need a certain corner of a table, so that our left-handed eating isn’t impeded by all of you erroneous right-handed eaters.