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Would *you* sign this petition?

There’s an old petition I stumbled across the other day. It was written in an old-fashioned kind of legalese, so I updated it a little to make it more modern. This is the gist of what it said.

***

Some truths are just obvious, so obvious that they do not require an elaborate proof, and so obvious that it is ridiculous to attempt one. Among these is the obvious truth that all human beings are equally responsible for their own consciences, behaviors, and actions. This means that all human beings have a right to live their own lives, to do whatever pleases them as long as it doesn’t interfere with the basic rights of others, and to be free to make their own decisions about their own lives.

The only real reason people agree to submit themselves to a government is to protect these basic human rights.

Thus, government comes out of the free, voluntary, and willing consent of ordinary people. The power of a government comes from the ordinary people who agree to be bound by its laws.

Because that’s where the government’s power comes from, and because the purpose of government is to protect basic human rights, it follows that whenever a government no longer protects these rights, or whenever a government begins to destroy these rights, then it is the responsibility of a good citizen to either change that government or to destroy it.

If the government does not or cannot protect basic human rights, the only moral course that a person can take is to participate in changing or abolishing the existing government.

Of course, as a practical matter, a long-standing government can’t be changed easily – and anyway, it shouldn’t be changed for minor or temporary problems. That’s simple human nature, because most people will put up with an awful lot of bad stuff before we’ll get off our rear ends and do anything about it! Especially if changing things means that … well, that things have changed. We like the familiar.

But when there’s a long and ongoing pattern of human rights abuses, and flagrant abuses of power including some people getting into office who aren’t legally qualified to do so or who cheated to get there, and there have been so many repeated offenses of this nature that it almost looks like there’s a plan to take all power away from the people and put it in the hands of bureaucrats – well, that’s when people have the right and duty to abolish the existing government. That’s when it is time to start a new government that will be more responsive to their needs and more likely to respect their rights.

 ***

Would you sign the above petition? Do you agree with it?

29 Responses to Would *you* sign this petition?

  1. George says:

    I see what you did there… :)

  2. piraticalbob says:

    Of course I would.

  3. RabidAlien says:

    Gimme a pen.

  4. Rob Morse says:

    Please hand me a quill and I’ll lay my honor as well as my name upon the parchment.

  5. Joe says:

    “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

  6. SiGraybeard says:

    Excellent. This should be spread across the entire ‘net.

  7. Chrysolithos says:

    Yes, I would sign it.

  8. schumich33 says:

    Yes, I agree and would sign this petition.

  9. Pingback:A Petition I Can Get Behind | My Constructed Reality

  10. Pingback:A question - Higher Caliber

  11. PracticalCat says:

    No question.

  12. Wyld_Goose says:

    Someone always has to sign there name way larger than everyone else assuming some king would be to blind to see it otherwise.

  13. Old NFO says:

    In a heartbeat…

  14. My ancestors did once and I’d be more than willing to do it again today.

  15. larryarnold says:

    Sign it? Yes.

    Every fourth of July when I read it at the city patriotic sing, I’d prefer the ringing cadence of the original.

    Remember this one?

    The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution; Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States; any or all of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:

    • Larry,

      I’m with you. The original reads much better than this feeble shadow.

      The thing is, most of us are a least a little familiar with the phrases in the original. The music of those phrases, and their familiarity to us, make it a lot harder to hear the idea in this document for the absolute radical stuff that it really is.

      You might even say it was revolutionary.

  16. RabidAlien says:

    BTW, gave some linky-love on our blog.

  17. Spider Elliott says:

    It’s easy to say I’d sign, and I hope I would. But when it means putting our lives and the lives of our families on the line, I start to have doubts about a strength of my character.

    That’s why the original signers are heroes. When the rubber met the road, they didn’t waver, despite the fear they might have had.

    And yes, I absolutely believe in the document, which is why I’ve gone through hoops to become a naturalized citizen.

    • Spider,

      Thanks for saying that, and I agree.

      Elsewhere, someone said they would sign this as long as it wasn’t at the gov’t ‘petition’ site, because that website is just a sham to gather IDs of protesters. There is someone who really thought about what it means to put your “John Hancock” on a revolutionary document.

    • oldsailor says:

      Spider, I hear you, but for three reasons would like to think I would have no choice but to sign. Those three reasons are my daughters.

      What kind of Father would I be, to deny my children the freedom I have enjoyed these past years?

      Yes, by signing I would endanger them. By not signing I condemn them.

      I hope we don’t have to find out.

      • larryarnold says:

        Yeah.

        Folks on the other side don’t seem to understand this. “We aren’t taking your guns away. Your guns are grandfathered.”

        I skyped with my twin grandkids (18 months) last night. “Grandfathered” is a responsibility, not a cop-out.

        • Daniel in Brookline says:

          Your guns are grandfathered.”

          Unless you live in New York… where they’re toying with the idea of making a legal purchase illegal ex post facto. (A few other states seem to think it’s a cool idea too.) They have no idea what dynamite they’re playing with.

  18. 9mm4545 says:

    Sounds pretty radical–I would totally support this Declaration, with my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.

  19. fast richard says:

    That train of abuses and usurpations is getting pretty long.

  20. Daniel in Brookline says:

    Yes, I’d sign it. I’d be afraid of the possible response; I have five kids too. But it’s largely for them that I’d be doing it, after all.

    “We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we will all hang separately.”

  21. Ladyhawke says:

    Where do I place my John Hancock? Great paraphrase. Love your site.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Love it! Yes, oh course I’ll sign. Really big.

  23. Jenny C says:

    I’m in.

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