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-Pres. Obama: Endowed, Oh Yes- “By Their Creator”

by Dr. D ~ October 23rd, 2010

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by t...

(Image via Wikipedia)

During his last 2 speeches, here in LA and in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, President Obama quoted from the Declaration of Independence and when he included and enunciated the words: “by their Creator” the crowds reportedly responded with thundering applause that seemed totally out of place unless you are aware of the back story.  

Earlier this month it was noted by 100’s of different news sources including an untold number of  bloggers and religious folks that President Obama in paraphrasing and quoting from the Declaration of Independence during 3 different speeches had left ‘God’ out of it:

“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..”

When asked by the media to comment on the omission no explanation was forth coming from the President or his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs who told reporters at the time:

“I can assure you the president believes in the Declaration of Independence.”

Of course Robby boy that was not the issue or the concern. The fact that the quote had become part of a stump speech by the President was obvious what wasn’t so obvious was the reason the President chose to leave ‘God’ out of it.

I was not personally bothered by the omission after all the whole point of his discourse was an emphasis on the ‘rights’ that we have come to expect in this country not the origin of those rights. To me it was just a rhetorical ‘short cut’ and not a slight on the Creator at all.

As a preacher many times I have partially quoted from or referred to scriptures using only the parts that reinforce a particular point or message. It is not a slight on the entire word of God to quote only a part of it as long as it is not entirely out of context.

The Importance of God in the Declaration 

However, when it comes to the Declaration of Independence the words: “by their Creator” were a major part of the message, the subject, and emphasis.

Many secularists and atheists today want to de-emphasize the role of faith in the founding of this country to the point that many are attempting to actually rewrite history itself. For them, “by their Creator” could have easily been left out of the document with little or no effect.

But in the context of 1776 those words were the whole linchpin of the document and appealed to an ultimate authority for the rights of the Americans to rebel against the King of England.

In the context of the 18th century the Europeans believed that their Kings reigned and ruled ‘by Divine right’ under the authority of God and were His direct representatives. In fact, the King of England was also the head of the church and was supposed to defend the Christian faith against heresy and all enemies. In that cultural context, to rebel against the King was tantamount to rebelling against the Creator.

In the Declaration the founders made it clear that they were not rebelling against God but that the Creator was actually the ultimate authority they were appealing to saying that their ‘rights’ were derived directly from their Creator and not given to them by the King of England or some parchment or Parliament.

It was a radical document at the time and changed the whole course of human history and ‘the Creator’ was part and parcel of the Declaration of Independence and the ultimate authority in the whole process. As you can see, ‘the Creator’ is not easily left out even today.          *Top of the Blog  


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2 Responses to -Pres. Obama: Endowed, Oh Yes- “By Their Creator”

  1. -“By Their Creator” | APOLOGETICA

    […] commented on this more completely in an article on my main page. The following is a point that is important to note here on this page. Without the phase: “by […]

  2. -Sorry Pres. Obama Our National Motto is Still “In God We Trust” | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] election season President Obama quoted from the Declaration of Independence in his stump speech and kept on leaving out the reference- “by their Creator” until it was pointed out and then he mysteriously added it back in with no […]

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