The Pursuit of Happiness


Have you ever found yourself on a slippery slope or stepped onto a rock below the water that was covered with moss?

The resulting fall was not very pleasant!

I believe that we are on a slippery slope as a nation that can culminate in a very bad fall.

There are two items being pushed in our society that, when they are mixed together can create a pathway that will take us places that we don’t really want to go.

The first item is the pursuit of happiness.

Yes, I know that our Declaration of Independence mentions this as being an inalienable right. But, remember that there are two other rights mentioned along with that one:

Life and liberty.

I fear that we don’t know where true life comes from. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” If you believe these words – if they carry any gravity at all, then we must understand that life is much more than eating, drinking, and doing whatever we like to do. If life is found in a Person, then we must look to that Person to teach us how to live life. We must draw life from that Person or our attempts to live will be misguided. If we don’t know the Source of true life, then the pursuit of happiness is an act of futility.

What about liberty?

Is liberty the ability to do whatever I want? Is liberty the exaltation of self? To most people, the answer to these questions is “yes” in action if “no” in response.

So, is liberty the right to exalt my desires over those of another? Or is liberty found in something much deeper – something that causes us to care for and meet the needs of others as well as ourselves?

It seems to me that we are deifying the pursuit of happiness in our culture. We believe that we have a right to be happy. Our goal is not to be a person of honor or a person of character but to be happy. Most scientific opinion polls would bear this out.

When you deify your personal happiness, you deify your self. If personal happiness is to be our goal in society, then everything – any type of activity no matter how perverse, uncivilized, or unhealthy is on the table.

 

If liberty is the ability to do whatever I want, how can a community of people live together or work together? Our concept of what is going to make us happy varies and stem from recesses deep within us. Pain can cause desire. Confusion can cause desire. Delusion can cause desire. Rebellion can cause desire. Anger can cause desire. To some, what will make them happy is to take something that legally belongs to someone else. Or to have sex with a child. Or to kill someone.

At what point are we going to say that some forms of liberty are not conducive to the common good?

I said that there are two items of concern growing in society.

The second is the exaltation of the rights of the individual.

While I firmly believe in individual rights, I believe in those under a law that promotes health, respect, and a love for community.

Who gets to decide what promotes health, respect, and a love for community?

Think of some current debates.

I want to be able to go to the bathroom as either a male or female. I have the right to identify myself as any sex I want no matter what has scientifically been assigned to me.

What about the rights of the others who are using the same bathroom? Did their rights disappear because of one person’s desire?

Gender identification and same sex marriage are not stand alone decisions. There are other issues behind these waiting for their turn to express themselves.It’s the proverbial Pandora’s box: you allow one thing access and others clamor for their day in the sun.

What’s next?

Someone will want to marry their dog. Since we have changed the definition of unions, why is this off limits? What about someone wanting to marry a child?

This line of thinking doesn’t just apply to relationships.

What about money?

If everyone has the right to be happy, shouldn’t we divide what is produced among each of us? If my unhappiness is linked to my income, why not? If my feelings about myself are linked to what I have or don’t have, why not? Others got to get what they wanted based upon their feelings about self?

We declare that we use science as our guide for rational decisions.

What scientific proof do we have that life begins at any other time than conception? What scientific proof do we have that homosexuality or lesbianism is a product of genetics? What scientific proof do we have that I am a woman when my physical makeup and genetics are all male?

When you mix the exaltation of individual rights with the deification of personal happiness, you have a recipe for disaster.

I remember that our Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Who is going to decide the pathway to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Someone will do the deciding!!!

Will it be a man? A panel of men and women; say judges? Will it be a political body? Or will it be the Creator who endowed these rights in the first place?

I feel for anyone who is confused or suffering. I’ve been there myself and still visit there from time to time. But, you can’t have a society of peace and freedom in an  environment of conflicting rules.

Again, who get’s to decide?

You’ve heard this: “Don’t put your morality upon me!”

I don’t want to do that but someone is going to decide the path. The million dollar question is not:

“What will make me happy?” But:

“Who is going to decide the pathway?”

That’s the question that is causing all the uproar.

 

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