In Section 2 of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “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.” Jefferson believed what John Locke wrote, that people have “natural rights”; rights that belong to them simply because they are human, not because kings or governments granted them these rights.
Philosophers, such as the Baron de Montesquien, agreed with Locke and argued that natural rights were not alienable; they could not be taken away. Jefferson was familiar with this writing and he used the expression, “unalienable rights.” These rights cannot be surrendered, sold, or transferred to someone else. The words “endowed by their creator” were used instead of “God” to avoid religious disputes. The intent was to express the truth that every person is a creation of God and has certain rights that should never be taken away, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The term, “pursuit of happiness” is simply one’s God given right to commit actions that allow a person to pursue happiness, as long as that pursuit does not deliberately involve, interfere, directly or indirectly, with the happiness of others. This is also known as the sub-definition of the meaning of life. It is the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others which may increase their prosperity, so as to give them the highest enjoyment. Pursuit of happiness is consistent with liberty, freedom. Jefferson believed that happiness is the general pursuit of the things that makes life worth living. Liberty specifically gives a citizen personal and political freedom from outside control.
I do not believe these rights are being upheld today completely because condemned criminals lose their liberty and sometimes their lives. Pro-life proponents believe that abortion is taking a life, as well. Public servants take an oath to uphold the rights of citizrns; still, sometimes our rights are violated. It is therefore our responsibility as American citizens to always vote for our public servants to ensure our rights are upheld, as our founding fathers intended.