When Thomas Jefferson wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, and are endowed my their Creator with certain Unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He was saying that these are rights that are God-given. They are not granted by, or derived from the state.
The US Constitution was then written to protect these rights.It has always been a living document and has been interpreted in relation to the facts at the time that is has been interpreted.
In the Dred Scot case of 1857 (Dred Scot was a slave living in Missouri. a slave state, and when he moved to Illinois, a free state, he enjoyed his freedom and sued for it. But he was returned to his master's plantation, and the Supreme Court decided that "No black man had any rights that any white man was bound to respect."
In 1895, in the Homer Plesey vs Ferguson case (Homer Plesey was a black man who was riding in the white section of the Train, and when he was thrown off, he sued the rail road company, and the Supreme Court ruled that "Separate but equal is the law of the land." The emphasis was always on the Separate and never the equal. Once again the Supreme Court looked at the Constitution and interpreted in relation to the facts at the time.
In 1954, in the Brown Vs the Topeka Board of Education, the Supreme Court decided that "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal, and segregated school must desegregate with all deliberate speed." Once again the Constitution had not changed, but the facts had changed, and the Constitution was interpreted in relation to the current facts.
Several years ago, I gave up on this country. I thought Dr. King's dream had become a nightmare, and I just wanted to leave here. Then I read about a man who wanted to sell his house. He had lived in that house all of his life. His father and mother had lived there, but he wanted to move. So, he called the realtor and told him that he wanted to move. The realtor jolted down a few points about the house and left. The next morning the man saw the ad in the newspaper, called the realtor and told him to cancel his ad. He said, after reading the ad about my house, I suddenly discovered that I already live in the house that I always wanted to live in.
Then I was invited to make a speech in New York, and as my plane made a wide sweep out over the Atlantic I looked down and I saw the Statue of Liberty, like a woman's hand rising out of the Hudson with the words inscribed on its base, "From all lands bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free." And I said, take down my sign, I already live in the country that I always wanted to live in.
In spite of its problems, and it has many, people are trying to break into America, but nobody is trying to break out. It is still the place where the son of a white woman from Kansas, and a black man from Kenya, with an African name that they called Barack Obama, could become the 44th president of the United States, and until Donald J. Trump became President, every president recognized that America is a melting pot that is still melting, and we are becoming a more perfect union. Some of us willed to come here and some of us were brought here against our will, but we are a nation of immigrants and must all be included.
Serenity Church of Valdosta