We've Lost the Pursuit (and Now We Kill for Happiness' Sake)

Her shirt made a point.  I don't think, however, it was the point she intended.  I read into things, I guess.  We were at the baseball game and it was the Fourth of July so, of course, the silkscreened flags were out in force and patriotic themed attire donned the other spectators.  And then I noticed the one shirt that stuck out to me more than any other.  A cute little navy number and emblazoned across the baby boomer's chest were the words:

Life   Liberty   Happiness

(Bedazzled.  Obviously.)
Now, I would never claim to be an expert on American history or civics but even little old me could spot the glaring omission. 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of Happiness."
The direct God-given rights guaranteed in this critical line of the Declaration are life, liberty, and pursuit.  Happiness is the understood goal but it itself is not guaranteed. The pursuit of it is.  Which is startlingly different from plain ole, hey, you will be happy in this here country.  Come on in, we'll take care of you!

Thomas Jefferson spent 17 days writing those few paragraphs that make up the Declaration.  Every word was chosen carefully and deliberately.  The pursuit part matters and makes all the difference in how those guarantees are understood.  The pursuit is ours (or should be) for the taking.  We can seize it and do our darnedest to achieve happiness or we have the freedom to reject it, choosing our vice over nobler calling and deep fulfillment.  And what makes this ride, this journey thrilling indeed is that the idea of pursuit contains within it the possibility for failure.

But we've lost that idea, haven't we?  We are fast becoming (or dare I say already become?) a society that demands happiness from their government and from God.  We believe we deserve it.  We believe that we are somehow owed contentment and favor and happiness and we believe we deserve it for the mere fact that we exist.  We complain about work and demand that the government pay for everything from our children's education to our visit to the doctor.  I would even dare say our government for the last three quarters of a century has been whittling away our guaranteed right to that pursuit part, strangling those that dare to dream with regulations, fees, taxes, and paperwork.   Provided in its stead the state graces us with a happiness that is artificial and demeaning, shifting and costly.  A happiness provided by the state will never fulfill the yearnings of man's heart.  That artificially happy man will never be truly free.

May we reclaim and may we love the pursuit.  May we raise children who work hard, are generous, and who take responsibility for happiness into their own hands.  May we have a government that once again respects the pursuit.

On a related note, the order of these rights was listed intentionally.  Life first, liberty second, and the pursuit last.  We now live in a country that says that my (false) "right" to happiness allows me to literally destroy the life of another, crushing its skull and ripping its limbs apart in what should be the most sacred and safest place on earth - a mother's womb.  Our founding fathers and mothers would be ashamed that this is what we have made with the blood, sweat, and tears they poured out for freedom.

 Today in Texas a special session is being held to revisit the bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.  20 weeks.  At this point a baby can feel pain, be felt by its mother squirming and kicking, has fingerprints and every major organ and looks like, get this, a baby.  There are times I can't sleep at night realizing that THIS IS REAL.   A few weeks later, this baby can survive outside the womb.  Yet it is still legal to rip it to pieces (or chemically burn them to death), sell off the parts for cosmetics and research and dump the rest in the trash.  Most of these babies aborted at this stage are killed because they had the nerve to have a suspected disability.  Right now nine out of ten children suspected to have Down Syndrome are murdered before they are born.  90 percent.  It is vile and inhuman.  The fact that some of the same people who claim to teach and defend the disabled will vote into office politicians who will ensure that these children can be legally killed is repulsive and hypocritical.  But at least those lucky enough to survive will get their free government programs.

Today I am praying and fasting that Texas will stand for life and that she will be an example to the rest of the nation that life comes first.  I am praying that these babies will have their true rights guaranteed.

Life    Liberty   Pursuit

Please pray with me.


  1. Oh, I am praying with you. Yes, the pursuit of happiness means the destruction of life for so many. And a false happiness is the result. It's intellectually dishonest to think you could resolve any problem by killing another human.

    PS My bumper sticker says: Peace (symbol) in the womb. If only they could have peace.

  2. Awesome Mary ! You should send this to the local news editorial section - Grandpa would be proud!

  3. Well written. I shared it on facebook. I have been prolife for a long time, but it never sunk in just how evil abortion is until I miscarried at 12w3d pregnant and held a sweet perfectly formed yet still baby boy in my hands.

  4. A wonderful post! I am always amazed that a most important word can be left out. Thank you for sharing these great thoughts.

    Somehow, I missed this today, but will take up the fasting and praying for this now (God is not restrained by time? right?)


  5. Thank you for this, Mary. Awesome, and truthful, post.

  6. Seriously, you should submit this to a newspaper or other publication...it's brilliant. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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