We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

August 4, 2010
I feel sometimes that we, proud citizens of the United States of America, sometimes forget on which principles this miraculous nation was founded. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of petition, as well as the entire system of checks and balances; a country that is, essentially, based on the idea that people should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want – within certain parameters of law.

It is within these 'certain parameters' that our natural rights can begin to be blurred. Over the years, we as Americans have done our best to do away with those laws that take away from our personal liberties. And today, it is the denial of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that has taken us one step back into the monarchy of an old age.

Let me first begin with a story: once upon a time, in a land known as the Commonwealth of Virginia, there was a beautiful young girl and a handsome young man who were very much in love. The twist? He was white and she black; interracial marriages were, at the time, illegal in Virginia. However, this did not stop this couple: they traveled to the District of Colombia where they were married and promptly moved back to their home, ready to enter into a state of martial bliss. Unfortunately, upon moving back into Virginia, they were arrested and sentenced to one year in jail because of their transgression of Virginia law in marrying one another. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and, in Loving vs. the Commonwealth of Virginia, it was determined that the prohibiting of interracial marriages was unconstitutional as it was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment that no person could be denied the right to Life, Liberty or Property and that to deny a person the right to marry was an infraction of those rights.

Today, we look back and think how ridiculous it was that blacks and whites were forbidden to marry, not just because it is unconstitutional, but because it is a truth we hold self-evident that all people are created equal, that all people have a right to marry whenever they wanted, whoever they wanted, regardless of race, or age, social class or gender.

The fact that gay marriages are banned in the US is simply ridiculous in my eyes, and I will tell you why: despite what your views on the issue of homosexuality is, despite if you think it's against the Church, or just don't believe in it entirely, doesn't matter. If the Church wants to denounce all gay marriages, there is not one thing we can do about it as freedom of religion is a guaranteed right in America and the Church would be well in it's own power to do so.

But this country was founded on the separation of Church and State, founded on the idea that it is not a government's job to dictate how people should live their lives, that all people are born with certain unalienable rights, in short, founded on the idea that these Great United States of America should be a shining beacon of hope to all those around the world who are daily repressed, shunned and punished for these truths we hold to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among which are the rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness because we are the United States of America, dammit, and we are free.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm
I was starting to wonder if they even existed, but you have shown to me that well-written opinion essays do exist.  Wonderful article, incrediblely written.
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm
I agree wholeheartedly. Is not the right to marry whomever we choose a part of the freedom that is guaranteed in the Constitution. Well said!
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