In a speech given to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at its 33rd annual gala, President Barack Obama cites the preamble to the Declaration of Independence in an effort to cite the values that unite all Americans and make us strong...
Many conservatives have savaged Obama for intentionally dropping "Creator" from the preamble. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't think he misquoted the Declaration of Independence intentionally. As a pastor, I sometimes find myself accidentally mangling a Bible verse or a quote - even at times a passage with which I'm normally very familiar. That kind of thing can happen when you're speaking in public. (We all remember how Chief Justice Roberts mangled the presidential oath, right?) So, I'm willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. It's also possible there was a mistake with the Teleprompter.
Nevertheless, the mistake is worth acknowledging. It's worth pointing out, because the principle at stake is no small matter. According to the Founding Fathers, people are not "endowed" with "unalienable rights" by happenstance, evolution, majority consent, or the government. According to Thomas Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress, our fundamental rights come from the Creator.
As Jefferson famously asked in his Notes on Virginia: "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?"
That a human being's fundamental rights come from a divine, intelligent Creator is a core value central to the nation's founding and one our government and all American Presidents should embrace.