A New Declaration of Rights


May I give you a proposal for the beginnings of a new contract for humanity ?

It’s based, as you’ll see, on the second sentence in the USA Declaration of Independence, originally drafted, as far as I know, by Thomas Jefferson, in 1776. 

I have changed just one word.  

Can we start here ?  Is this too much ?  I know there will be difficulties in the boundaries of its interpretation, and it will take time and extreme skill to go down this path.

But here is a new Declaration of Rights:  

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 
that all creatures 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. 

Do we believe it ?  Please tell me.   We will have to start, of course, by making sure that nobody with the defective sense of morality exhibited by David Cameron, Owen Paterson, or David Heath is ever again allowed to have control over the creatures that surround us, and that includes cows as well as badgers.  It must also take into its scope laboratory rats and mice, and pigs and horses and dogs and chickens, and slugs and snails and  …   Am I asking too much ?  This aligns with the beliefs of Buddhism, Shinto and Janes, I think, though I am not well-enough versed to be sure.  I would also hope that it aligns with Christianity, though I’m sure there are different shades of opinion within the Christian Church.  Reading the present Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent statements, one has to wonder if the subject ought to be debated among C of E leaders.  I’m sure a large proportion of us have sung “All Things Bright and Beautiful” as kids in Church.

The next sentence is a direct quote, and this defines the road to follow: 

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, 
 deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — 
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, 
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, 
and to institute new Government, 

laying its foundation on such principles and organising its powers in such form, 
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

This is the challenge before us.  Looking at the hideous tragedy unfolding in the ‘pilot’ badger cull zones – something we never quite believe would be allowed to happen – I now believe nothing less will do.   

Are you hearing me ?  Are we up to the challenge ? 


© brianmay.com