Obama Corrects Himself on the Declaration of Independence
8:21 AM, Oct 27, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
CNS News writes that, after having misquoted the Declaration on "at least five occasions in the past," President Obama has now started reciting its most famous sentence correctly, including its statement that our rights are endowed by our Creator. CNS News provides a great clip of the president's progression. First, he omits reference to the Creator -- an egregious oversight that the White House has yet to explain -- saying instead, "that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights." Then he apparently tries to get the language correct, but seems a bit unsure of himself and somewhat conflates his earlier words with the document's actual ones -- saying, "that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights." Then, appearing more confident, he gets it correct, saying, "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" -- just like Thomas Jefferson did.
One of the curious things in all of this is why the Declaration has become part of President Obama's stump speech. Is he trying to establish himself as someone who's connected to America's ideals, its mores, and the limited-government philosophy of its Founding? Is he trying (in his own way) to say, "I'm you"? If so, repeatedly mangling the Declaration's most famous sentence, and doing so in a hyper-secular, post-modern kind of way certainly hasn't advanced his efforts.
Moreover, unless, or until, the White House convincingly explains the reason behind President Obama's repeated omission of the Declaration's reference to our "Creator," many Americans will justifiably wonder whether he really couldn't get this famous language right, or whether his omission was deliberate. And, if so, whether the president actually thought it acceptable to alter the words of the Declaration of Independence to suit the tastes of his liberal and/or somewhat irreligious audiences, or, even worse, whether the wording that he substituted actually reflects his own misgivings about one of the Declaration's core claims: that our rights come from our Creator, not from government.