“Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities” by Glenn Beck

Agree or disagree with Beck, I believe his thoughts here are quite timely. In our frenzied rush to maintain our rights and forge a path for new ones, we Americans have neglected the importance of our adherent responsibilities. Consider this declaration:

As the American Declaration of Independence clearly states, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to band together and collectively declare their rights and responsibilities to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle and bind them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should disclose the causes which impel them to such.

Therefore let us declare that we still hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But with those rights come responsibilities.

In order to continually experience life, liberty and happiness as promised, nature’s God demands obedience to His law to protect those rights. This is where we have fallen short and therefore, in order not to lose the blessings of freedom, the people of the world must turn from the sole focus on rights, and recognize the inherent and required responsibilities that we have.

Among the responsibilities to which we must adhere to maintain our God given rights are honor, courage and vigilance.

Over time, we believe that these basic human responsibilities have been trampled, and replaced with degradation, fear and apathy.

But when a long train of abuses of the people and conscience by the media and by other segments of society, pursuing the same path of reducing them to ridicule, scorn and even sub-human status, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to peacefully, but vehemently take a stand.

Men want to be king, and the more we concentrate on our rights and the more we are told not to worry about our responsibilities, the more we lose our rights.

Just as physics show, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The time has come to declare that at least for the western world human rights are generally accepted and moving in the right direction however a new movement is required a movement of human responsibility.

The media, politicians and large institutions both academic and political have been lying to us, and we must demand the truth be told.

With that demand, comes the responsibility that we tell the truth first, in ourselves. Too many of us delegate our responsibility to the media…and too many believe there is no personal responsibility at all.

Political correctness has polluted our language and clouds our every discussion.

What was once accepted as good and right, is now considered bad and evil, and that which was bad and evil is now presented to the world as good and decent.

Opposing thoughts or opinions are referred to as crazy, insane, non-factual and utterly without merit. Furthermore, we are told, they should not even be heard.

Now, the time has come to take a stand by exhibiting the traits – honor, courage and vigilance.

What is honor? It is being honest in all of our dealings. It is showing loyalty and fairness, and being a beacon of integrity in all our beliefs and actions. It is showing respect for others.

Ruth honored Naomi when she told her that she would not leave her. That she would go wherever Naomi went, that she would live where Naomi lived and die where Naomi died. Her God would be Naomi’s God.

Courage is the ability to face danger, criticism or scorn – not without fear, but while overcoming fear to deal with that which comes our way.

When no one else in the Kingdom wanted to face the mighty giant, Goliath, young David was willing. David must have felt fear at the sight of his foe, but overcame it, and courageously vanquished his enemy.

Vigilance is being watchful for all forms of treachery and tyranny, lies and deceit. The person in the watchtower, waiting all night, suddenly sounding the alarm that the enemy is coming. The careful observer of the markets and economies who proclaims to the world, all is not well, there is trouble ahead and the outspoken critic of the powerful, going against societies’ grain, warning that all is not as we’re being told. These are the vigilant.

We implore all people to stand with these characteristics – honor, courage and vigilance.

To that end, we must restore honor in our own lives. Seek after the truth. Declare right now, that no longer will we simply accept what is told us by the media or anyone else.

The media has the responsibility to tell the truth, we have the responsibility to learn it.

Stand with courage, even if it means the end of our jobs, the end of our positions in life…or even the end of our very lives.

We must have the courage to be peaceful, while recognizing the courage to defend and respond to threats and/or attacks when necessary.

Turn the other cheek when possible.

We must be vigilant. We must think the unthinkable. The holocaust occurred because no one could imagine it, but evil never sleeps, and neither must we.

As Edmund Burke said, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We must DO something. Stand watch. Speak up. Become involved.

Thus, we the people do hereby declare not only our rights, but do now establish this bill of responsibilities.

1. Because I have the right to choose, I recognize that I am accountable to God and have the responsibility to keep the 10 commandments in my own life.

2. Because I have the right to worship as I choose, I have the responsibility to honor the right of others to worship as they see fit.

3. Because I have freedom of speech, I have the responsibility to defend the speech of others, even if I strongly disagree with what they’re saying.

4. Because I have the right to pursue happiness, I have the responsibility to show humility and express gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy and the rights I’ve been given.

5. Because I have the right to honest and good government I will seek out honest and just representatives when possible. If I cannot find one then I accept the responsibility to take that place.

6. Because I have the God given right to liberty, I have the personal responsibility to have the courage to defend others to be secure in their persons, lives and property.

7. Because I have the right to equal justice, I will stand for those who are wrongly accused or unjustly blamed.

8. Because I have the right to knowledge, I will be accountable for myself and my children’s education…to live our lives in such a way that insures the continuation of truth.

9. Because I have the right to pursue my dreams and keep the fruits of my labor, I have the responsibility to feed, protect and shelter my family, the less fortunate, the fatherless, the old and infirm.

10. Because I have a right to the truth, I will not bear false witness nor will I stand idly by as others do.

Unconditionally, while maintaining my responsibility to compassionately yet fiercely stand against those things that decay the natural rights of all men. And for the support of this declaration, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, fortunes and sacred honor.

 

– Glenn Beck

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A Changed Perspective

The darkness was thick. I’d never seen a sky so black or filled with such brilliant points of light. “Light pollution” to the north, where my gaze was fixed, was non-existent. On this hot, steamy August night on the Atlantic coast, minutes from downtown Montecristi, Dominican Republic, as I considered how much electricity my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee must generate to outshine the stars, my Perspective changed.

When I slammed the old, metal rake onto the dirt floor of the church building I was helping to construct, I felt like my muscles had nothing left. I was running on fumes in the late summer heat. All morning and the entire day before were spent hauling 8″ x 12″ concrete blocks up to the roof. Today we were leveling the dirt for the cement slab they would be pouring when the funds came in. I used muscles I had forgotten since my first trip to Montecristi when we dug 119 holes out in the desert to pour homemade concrete footers for fence posts… Ugh, not a friendly memory at the moment… I just wanted to lay down for a bit… After some water, of course……….. Back to reality. We were just finishing up grading the floor. It had to be exactly four inches below the little cords we had strung tightly across the room. And the dirt was like particles of stone. There was absolutely no moisture in it. How did people manage to do this for thousands of years before the bulldozer was contrived? Sure, we were in the shade, but good grief, this was torture! I contemplated the incredible advances my own country had made during this return trip to Montecristi, and my Perspective changed.

“Don’t drink the water,” they said. “Oh, and make sure you don’t flush the toilet paper.” Ooookay? I stood in the cold shower, remembering the warnings they had given me before I landed in Montecristi and concentrating hard on keeping the water out of my mouth as it dripped at very low pressure from the shower head. What if I contract a water-borne illness down here? What if something like that got into the water supply at home? I hastily dried off and stepped away from the phobia-inducing water. My Perspective had changed.

I knew changes in temperature could really be nice. Stepping into a warm vehicle on a cold, windy day was pleasant. A cool swimming pool after a long day working outside in July was always a welcome treat. If I’m honest, though, I would admit I had never gone more than, heck, I don’t know, 16 hours? without returning to a nice 70-degree room. And then I stepped into the international airport in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Oh. My. Goodness. AIR CONDITIONING – for the first time in about a week. My Perspective changed in a hurry.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing – a vast space befitting a vast country full of human life. There was the Forbidden City, the flags, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Such profound history, but my eyes kept returning to the sky. It was impossible to tell if the sun was behind a gigantic, homogeneous cloud, or if dense smog was responsible for the haze. Maybe the clouds and smog were one and the same. Anyway, in a city of 17 million people, with five gridlocked rings of superhighway enclosing the city, there was bound to be some pollution. I just didn’t realize how severe it could be. My breathing felt unimpeded. But I took note and mentally contrasted images of American cities to this immense Chinese metropolis. I walked around in that bleakness that should’ve been dazzling sunlight at 11 a.m. And my Perspective changed.

For the first 18 years of my life, all I knew was the pervasive comforts of good ol’ United States prosperity. I didn’t give much thought to the processes that were necessary to make my life not just good, not just really good, but really, really good. I wasn’t precisely ignorant about the years of innovation, raw man-hours, risk of capital, and resilient effort that led to the environment in which I had lived up to that point; I mean, I’m a reasonably intelligent individual, so I knew things didn’t just happen on their own. And sure, I knew about the starving children in Africa. I knew about the elemental hardships of many Middle East dwellers. I knew that millions of Asians are threatened by epic floods every year. I wasn’t exactly sheltered. But then again, when I got my fill of the harsh realities in the world beyond my air-conditioned, sanitary, insulated, protected bubble, I could always just utilize the steady power coming from the outlets in my spacious house and fire up the Xbox.

It would be dishonest to say I don’t sometimes mentally block out the unrelenting poverty and inconvenience that I know exists outside of my country. But I can’t “un-see” what I have seen. The chains of thought that rose to consciousness when those scenes of discomfort and wonder passed before my senses are now awake in perpetuity. There is no escaping them; the mental hiatuses I periodically engage in leave me feeling shallow at their conclusion. I also can’t say I’m grateful as much as I should be. I take much for granted. However, one thing is certain: these experiences have made me fall deeper in love with my country and the things that have granted me comforts I did not earn. My Perspective isn’t perfectly rounded. But one thing it’s not is rough around the edges. I know what I have here. I know what miracles surround me. I know what selflessness ushered in the comparably endless riches that I skim over every single day.

With this Perspective in mind, I look upon those currently protesting in the streets – the graded, finely paved thoroughfares that are nothing more than pothole-ridden stretches of rough concrete on some major highways of the world – and in the grass – ah, what a luxury that rich, green foliage is on the eyes for someone who lives in the scorched deserts of northern Dominican Republic – of our cities – our clean, relatively unpolluted population centers where garbage is generally kept in bins rather than stinking heaps in the corners of the street – and I am deeply moved. At one time, I reached only for anger at such people, and unfortunately I still do at times. But below that anger is profound sadness. Sadness for people who protest the gap between their own wealth and the wealth of the richest citizens of their own land. Sadness for people who have the ability to see what is happening around the world and instead narrow their field of vision to the relatively minuscule difference between their affluence and that of others in the skyscrapers – each one a veritable miracle of architecture – above them.

Sadness for people who do not yet have a changed Perspective.