The Link Between the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and God

Published on 19 August 2022 at 10:34

The Declaration of Independence reads in part:

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.

Notice the emphasis on the laws of nature or natural law or God’s law. William Blackstone, a famous English jurist, wrote there is a difference between natural law and the laws of nature. The laws of nature are written by God in the bible whereas, natural law is how man may interpret the laws of nature. And since man is imperfect, man could incorrectly interpret the laws of nature. I use the terms interchangeably because as Thomas Jefferson would write in the Declaration of Independence, these laws of nature should be self-evident:

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.

The Declaration of Independence is a social contract between the government and the people (God refers to social contracts as covenants in the bible) whereas, the Constitution is the bylaws or common law established from the Declaration of Independence. The two documents have been severed in recent history but does one exist without the other? No, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” found in the Declaration of Independence was embedded in the preamble of the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Directly below the signatures of the Constitution, the following postscript appears:

Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.

Moreover, the last word, “twelfth”, forever links the two documents. Twelfth establishes that the Constitution was signed in the twelfth year of United States independence following the passage of the Declaration of Independence.

Many modern scholars suggest that God had no influence on the Founders drafting of the Constitution. The reference “our Lord” is used in the postscript to link the Constitution to God. Furthermore, in Exodus 31:18 it states the Ten Commandments were “written by the finger of God.” Similarly, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washington, Benjamin Rush, and Benjamin Franklin would also suggest that the Constitution was Divinely influenced by the “finger of God” for several reasons. First, the odds of successfully drafting a constitution in such a divisive and polarized political landscape was highly improbable. Second, scripture influenced many provisions of the document.

Similarly, the Declaration of Independence can also be linked to the bible. Genesis 1:28 reads:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

To be fruitful and multiply represents life, to replenish the earth signifies liberty, and to subdue or have dominion over denotes happiness or property ownership.

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