What Ever Happened to "Inalienable" Rights?

All throughout elementary social studies we were bombarded with the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I had no idea what “inalienable” really meant until after I graduated high school. Until after I learned a horrid and disgusting word: abortion. Today, in the United States (and, unfortunately elsewhere in the world as well), there is this idea that some persons are not entitled to these inalienable rights. Rights, that are not granted by the government, no, they are rights that are inherent in our very creation as persons. To ignore the inalienable nature of these rights our government strikes a low blow: personhood is no longer a quality of being human, but is controlled by legislative interpretation. Not very long ago, this legislative interpretation denied personhood to humans with dark skin. Dark skinned humans were human property, not human persons. The property of the white men who owned them. They had no inalienable rights.  Cruel, unjust, and narrowminded is what we’ve to say about that today. Of course, now, dark skinned humans are persons according to our current legislative interpretation, and we celebrate the success of our government…  all too soon. A new victim has been found. The perfect victim. The victim who cannot cry out for himself. Indeed, because he cannot yet talk at all. Today, humans in the womb are not human persons, but human property. The property of the mothers that own them. They have no alienable rights. Certainly not the right to life. And when we exclude the right to life, we exclude all other rights; since the right to life is the foundation for all other rights and privileges. It’s a slippery slope that has already shown its fruits: euthanasia. Terri Shiavo, and others who have suffered her cruel fate. We now do away with the lives of those deemed “unfit” to live. Their “quality of life” is worthless to us, and so we “mercifully” kill them thinking that no life is better than the life they currently live. But we are not the arbiters of life. We are not even the arbiters of our own lives. They have been given to us (by our parents, through their cooperation) by God, our Creator. The Author and Sustainer of all Life.

What has gone so wrong with our society that rights once deemed “self-evident” by our ancestors now need proofs to demonstrate their truth?

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