Belle Grove Plantation will host its 10th Wine Festival celebrating local businesses on Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.bellegrove.org, in the Belle Grove Museum Shop, and at the Winchester Frederick County Visitors Center.
Wine Fest has “(plus!)” added to its name because of the expanded offerings this year. There will be tastings from area wineries, cideries, and breweries, plus a meadery and a distillery. Participants include North Mountain Vineyard & Winery (Maurertown), Hunt’s Vineyard (Stuarts Draft), Third Hill Winery at DeMello Vineyards (Quicksburg), Narmada Winery (Amissville), Creek’s Edge Winery (Lovettsville), Winchester Ciderworks, Old Town Cidery (Winchester), Misty Mountain Meadworks (Winchester), Box Office Brewery (Strasburg), Front Royal Brewing Company (Vibrissa Beer), Woodstock Brewhouse, and Copper Fox Distillery (Sperryville), maker of Belle Grove 1797 Whiskey based on the grains and techniques used at Belle Grove’s 18th century distillery.
“After 18 months of canceled festivals, we are delighted to welcome everyone back to one of our favorite events of the year,” said Kristen Laise, Executive Director at Belle Grove.
Guests with tasting tickets will receive a souvenir glass and be able to sample from all beverage vendors. Some will also sell their products by the glass, bottle, can, or case. There will be a tent where guests may “check bags” with their purchases, making it easier for them to move around to all the activities at the festival.
There will be live music all day. Gingerfunk Allstars, which plays a wide range of “groove music” including funk, Motown, R&B, rock, and reggae will be on stage 11:30-2:30 p.m. The Elizabeth Lawrence Band, which plays soulful blues, rugged rock, and inspired ballads from great artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Susan Tedeschi, will play 3:00-6:00 p.m. Guests may bring chairs and pop-up tents to enjoy the music on the lawn.
Plus, there will be entertainment from Joe Jablonski, The Walking Mall Poet, the typewriting street poet of Old Town Winchester 12:00-5:00 p.m. The Massanutten Antique Tractor and Gasoline Engine Club will have their tractors and raffle on site. Master artist Clyde Jenkins will demonstrate making traditional split oak baskets.
Belle Grove’s Wine Fest will also include 30-minute cooking demonstrations in the upper level of the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center. The schedule includes Chef Blair Dolinar of Nibblins gourmet and kitchen shop at 1:00 p.m., Chef Phil Anderson of The Chef’s Corner at 2:15 p.m., and Christa Nahhas of La Nourriture Catering at 3:30 p.m.
Food will be available for purchase from Shaffer’s Barbecue and Market (Middletown) serving its famous BBQ, SOBO Mobile (Warrenton) serving Tex Mex favorites, and VITTLES (Woodstock) serving sandwiches and desserts.
Among the artisan and merchandise vendors at Wine Fest will be J&W Farms apple cider products, My Buddy’s Nuts, Jenny Lee Jewelry, Fur and Bers bath products, India Imports jewelry, Scentsy candles, White Caterpillar candles, Paparazzi jewelry, and Color Street nails. The Belle Grove Museum Shop in the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center will be open during the festival and sells unique items made by local artists and producers.
Advanced tasting tickets are on sale now for $25 at www.bellegrove.org, in the Belle Grove Museum Shop, and at the Winchester- Frederick County Visitors Center (cash and check only). On the day of the event, tasting tickets may be purchased for $30 at the gate (cash and credit cards accepted). Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass, all tastings, access to all vendors, performances, demonstrations, and tours of the historic Manor House. General admission is $15 for visitors who do not wish to do tastings, are designated drivers, or who are under age 21.
Sponsors for Wine Fest include Crescent Cities Charities, iHeart Media, First Bank, Thermo Fisher, Korjus’ Country Store, and The Original Coffee Paint Company. Their generous underwriting allows ticket proceeds from the festival to contribute to Belle Grove’s education programs and preservation projects.
For safety, activities will be distanced throughout the outdoor event space and visitors are asked to wear masks when indoors.
For the latest information, visit www.bellegrove.org or www.facebook.com/BelleGrove. Pets, large backpacks, and outside food or drink may not be brought onto festival grounds. Belle Grove Plantation is located off Route 11 at 336 Belle Grove Road just south of Middletown, Virginia 22645 and is conveniently located to I-81 (use exit 302) and I-66.
Belle Grove is a non-profit, historic house museum on 283 acres that is still farmed today and has panoramic, Shenandoah Valley views. It is a National Trust for Historic Preservation site and a partner in the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.
A View from a bench on Main Street: Baseball, Fireworks, and a Car Show
On Saturday afternoon, our publisher Mike McCool, joined by C&C Frozen Treats proprietor William Huck on a bench in From of White Picket Fence on the 400 block of Main Street in Front Royal, and discussed all the events going on in Front Royal this holiday weekend. From baseball to fireworks to a car show – all happening in Front Royal.
There is a baseball game on Saturday night, the Front Royal Cardinals vs. Winchester Royals with the pre-game action starting at 6:30 pm. On Sunday, a double-header, Front Royal Cardinals vs. Harrisonburg Turks, with pre-game action at 4:00 pm. If you can’t make the games, you can watch live on the Royal Examiner.
After the game on Sunday, the Town of Front will be hosting fireworks at Bing Crosby Stadium. Don’t forget the car show, starting at noon on Sunday at Lindsay Chevrolet on South Royal Avenue.
Lots to do – enjoy the weekend with family and friends – celebrate responsibly and don’t drink and drive.
As your holiday weekend festivities begin, don’t forget to remember why the 4th is officially called Independence Day. The name observes the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and equally celebrates our declared independence from Britain.
Earlier on Saturday, the Royal Examiner was at the Warren Heritage Society, where the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution read the Declaration of Independence on the porch of the Archives. Read more here.
The Declaration of Independence: What Does it Say?
On 2 July, at 11:30, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution read the Declaration of Independence on the porch of the Archives at the Warren Heritage Society. The Chapter Color Guard also fired a three-volley musket salute to commemorate the signing of the document.
Participating Compatriots: Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Jim Cordes, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Jim Heflin, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Jime Simmons, Mike St Jacques, and Richard Tyler.
Visit the Warren Heritage Society at 101 Chester Street in Front Royal for more information on the Virginia signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The National Archives provided us with the following:
The Declaration of Independence was designed for multiple audiences: the King, the colonists, and the world. It was also designed to multitask. Its goals were to rally the troops, win foreign allies, and to announce the creation of a new country. The introductory sentence states the Declaration’s main purpose, to explain the colonists’ right to revolution. In other words, “to declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Congress had to prove the legitimacy of its cause. It had just defied the most powerful nation on Earth. It needed to motivate foreign allies to join the fight.
These are the lines contemporary Americans know best: “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.” These stirring words were designed to convince Americans to put their lives on the line for the cause. Separation from the mother country threatened their sense of security, economic stability, and identity. The preamble sought to inspire and unite them through the vision of a better life.
List of Grievances
The list of 27 complaints against King George III constitute the proof of the right to rebellion. Congress cast “the causes which impel them to separation” in universal terms for an international audience. Join our fight, reads the subtext, and you join humankind’s fight against tyranny.
Resolution of Independence
The most important and dramatic statement comes near the end: “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.” It declares a complete break with Britain and its King and claims the powers of an independent country.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.
In Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Georgia – Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
North Carolina – William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina – Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Massachusetts – John Hancock
Maryland – Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia – George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
Pennsylvania – Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware – Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
New York – William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey – Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
New Hampshire – Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple
Massachusetts – Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island – Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut – Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire – Matthew Thornton
The Good Idea of America
In July of 1776, the American Congress approved the Declaration of the Independence of the 13 United States of America. One of the key figures behind the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson, whose writing in “Defense of Liberty and Rights of Man” was the intellectual force behind the Revolution. Jefferson distilled many of his ideas in the Declaration itself when he wrote the following familiar lines:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”
Of course, these are the more famous words of the Declaration but there is another part that is equally important but less well knows. Jefferson goes on to say:
“…that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to 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 affect their safety and happiness.”
On this July 4th celebration, as a Christian and an American, I would like to make a few comments about Jefferson’s ideas that echo as true today as they did over 200 years ago when he penned them.
1. Good ideas are powerful
Jefferson played a key role in the American Revolution because he was able to crystallize and express an idea that burned in the hearts of the people who had built this young nation. At the time, America was outgunned and outnumbered by the British, but it had a better idea for social progress than its old-world cousins, and that is what made the difference in the end.
The “idea” of America, where every person could pursue individual happiness in freedom with the actual support of its government was so superior to the stifling grip of feudal Europe that when the spirit of the Declaration was set loose, no political or social or military force could stop it.
The old maxim is true, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” In 1776 the idea of “freedom” and safety from one’s enemies and one’s own government permitting the pursuit of individual happiness, all enshrined in law, was an idea whose moment had come and over 200 years later we are still celebrating its arrival.
2. Good ideas produce good results
There have been a lot of powerful ideas that have affected the world in the last 200 years, but not all of them have had good results:
- Friedrich Nietzsche produced the powerful idea that man should control his own destiny and the more powerful the man, the better the destiny. This idea was hijacked by the Nazis in Germany as they tried to build a super race and create a better destiny; WWII was the result.
- Karl Marx had the great idea of a social utopia where there would be no rich or poor, where all could be equally shared and managed by a central government. This led to 75 years of Communist aggression and misery for untold millions.
So as you can see, not all-powerful ideas produce a good result. But the idea of a government elected by the people, and charged with protecting the safety and freedom of the people; the idea that individual life is sacred; the idea to develop laws to maintain and promote the social and moral fabric of a nation; the idea that the people have a legal right and duty to change a government so that it will preserve these basic freedoms and rights; these were good ideas and the proof is that despite the imperfect ways these ideas have been carried out, this nation still has the greatest wealth potential; has made the greatest progress; is the most desired location for immigration from other nations.
That America is the nation most envied for its wealth and success is due to the fact that it is based on a powerful and good idea.
3. Good ideas have a good source
Jefferson as well as most of the founding fathers of this nation were men who believed in God and knew their Bibles. Most of the key ideas in the Constitution that deal with the way man treats other men are based on Biblical concepts.
Recently the Human Genome Project that mapped out the 3.1 billion chemical letters that makeup human DNA discovered that the entire human race of 6 Billion people can be traced back to a founding population of some 60,000 people. In other words, there is very little genetic variation in the entire history of man. In still other words, this means that genetically speaking, all human beings throughout history have been and are pretty much the same.
How wonderful that 200 years later science has proven Jefferson’s words to be true: that all men are created equal. Not just theoretically but now scientifically so.
But what is truly wonderful is that Jefferson and the others had the wisdom to base their good ideas on God’s perfect ideas contained in the Bible.
In II Timothy 3:16, Paul the Apostle says:
Every Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
On this glorious day as we celebrate the ideological foundations of this country, we can also say that “Every Scripture is inspired by God and also profitable for building a great nation.”
I hope and I pray that as we go forward we will remember the good ideas that made the USA the country that it has become. I also hope and pray that in charting our future we will go to the source for great ideas, God’s Word, whenever we want to inspire us as a people; build us up as a country; protect our borders; renew us as a nation; point us in the direction that we need to go.
We love to say, “God bless America” but let us always remember that the Bible says
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord. (Psalms 144:15)
America began with the great source idea that God was her Lord and she seeded her laws with His Word; America will remain great if she maintains those great ideas and renews her efforts to be the nation whose God is the Lord.
VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for July 4 – 8, 2022
The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.
*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new or revised entry since last week’s report.
Mile marker 0 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Right shoulder closures for utility work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm through July 30.
*NEW* Mile marker 7 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Overnight single lane closures for pavement marking, Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am.
Mile marker 8 to 7, westbound – Right lane closures for utility work, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm through July 30.
Mile marker 300 to 299, northbound and southbound – Right shoulder closures for utility work, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm through July 30.
Route 55 (Strasburg Road) – Flagger traffic control for safety improvements between Shenandoah County line and Front Royal town limits, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm through July 29.
Route 55 (Strasburg Road) – Shoulder closures for utility work in the area of Route 664 (Whipporwill Road), 8:30 am to 3:30 pm through July 15.
Various roads – Flagger traffic control when needed for debris cleanup. Weekdays during daylight hours. Estimated completion July 22.
Vegetation management may take place district-wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.
The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Cracked Acorn: Years Pass
Doing car repair, I began to take naps in the garage, while under the car. Dad replied that he had been doing this for years; it could be under a tractor or the combine. (He once told me that when he was old; I would also be old. I just hadn’t realized that it had happened this quickly.)
The Bible tells us that people lived into the 900s before the Flood, Methuselah, at 969. This declined till about 1000 B.C. and then maybe 70 or 80 (Psalm 90:10).
Starting in 1900 U.S. life expectancy has risen from 47 to an average age of 83, today. In this added time, we should “number” our days (Psalm 90:12). We should discern the future. (Deut. 32:28-29). We should consider how life will turn out. (Psalm 39:4-5) We will live even longer if we consider our speech/behavior. (Psalm 34:11-14; I Peter 3:10-11) We should love the Lord. (Psalm 91:14-16) Obey the Lord. (Proverbs:3:1-2,4:10) We should fear and grow in the knowledge of the Lord. (Proverbs 9:10-11; 10:27)
Humorous remarks from people of the past:
All would live long, but none would be old. Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are cheese. The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children. No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement. The older I grow the more I distrust the family doctrine that age brings wisdom. None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. Age doesn’t protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age. Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked. You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come into contact with new ideas. (My favorite!) How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young?
Recently there have been several specials on TV about the NEW AGE and evangelistic movements supposedly sweeping our nation. I am not sure if we are looking at this from close-up or from afar. I do not see within these vast audiences a sea of grey hair. Has the present generation forgotten that ‘An aged person loved is winter with flowers’ (an old German proverb)? The older generation is the “splendor” of today. (Proverbs 20:39) Psalm 92:13 and 14 says, “These who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in an old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” Older people are the bearers of fundamental human values. When this is lacking, people become rootless. People lose hope in the future and live within the limits of the present. (from the Dignity of Older People)
To the heart that’s aching under a load of care, Lend a hand of comfort. In the name of Jesus gather the sheaves of today, Read the precious promises, wages, He will pay; Go with rejoicing gleaning from the fields of sin, Thrust thy glowing sickle, bring in the harvest. (BEAUTIFUL GLEANINGS-from Sacred Selections)
Three tests for liberty
In the age of social media, it seems as though everyone sees a tyrant seated at the head of the other table.
But is there any test for tyranny?
On July 4, consider the test of Thomas Jefferson:
“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.”
In this famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson gives us three words that can test any philosophy:
- Self-evident: Jefferson said some ideas are obvious, so obvious that Americans don’t need a lawyer to explain or debate them. The first obvious truth he sets down is this: All men are created equal.
- Endowment: Jefferson says that God gives rights to man as a gift, an endowment. No human owns the rights of another and no human decides which people get to exercise those rights.
- Unalienable: These obvious rights, given as a permanent gift from God, cannot be taken away by any human, and neither can a person surrender the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.