CHALKBOARD LESSON: 6 Eternal Truths of Self-Governance

Progressives want you to believe the Declaration of Independence is a worthless document. Why? Because it is the foundation upon which our house is built, and it's a house of freedom, equality and personal responsibility --- not government control.

"The Declaration of Independence tells you six things in the two opening paragraphs that are eternal. It tells you there is a higher law than man's law. There is the law of nature. Does it happen in nature? And if it happens in nature, that's good. Then we know that's a natural right," Glenn explained Thursday on radio.

He went on to detail the other truths established in the Declaration that ensure our rights as American citizens:

1. There is a higher law

2. All men are equal and have rights

3. Our rights come from the creator

4. Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights

5. Government gets all of its power from the consent of the governed (the people)

6. When a government becomes destructive to those ends (protection of our God-given rights) we have the right to abolish or change it, and to institute a new government that will make us happy and secure in our rights.

The Declaration of Independence is what we believe. Combined with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, these three powerhouse documents have the ability to restrict the government and restore our Republic.

Enjoy this complimentary clip from The Glenn Beck Program:

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

The Declaration of Independence tells you six things in the two opening paragraphs that are eternal. It tells you: There is a higher law than man's law. There is the law of nature. Does it happen in nature?

And if it happens in nature, that's good. Then we know that's a natural right.

Now, does God come up above that and say because we're not an animal, we don't have a right to go kill other people for our food?

Yes. He says thousand shall not murder. He tells us what to eat. There's another law that usurps what happens in the animal kingdom.

And those two -- those two are your framework for all rights. It says, "All men are created equal and have rights." These rights come from the higher law. Nature and nature's God.

And the rights are not from any man. They're inalienable. So they come from God, which means no one can change them. Because I hate to break it to Al Gore: You can't change nature.

Rights are from the creator. Four, the government is only instituted -- what's its job? Well, it's got to build roads. It's got -- no, it doesn't. Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights.

PAT: Oh, and -- and to make airports nicer.

GLENN: Yeah, no.

PAT: You want to make them really shiny. You want to have a mall.

GLENN: Governments, their main job -- their main job is to preserve the rights that you find in nature and nature's God.

Then the government gets all of its power. It has no rights. It has all of its power from the consent of the governed.

So who is the government serving? The people who are giving it power.

And it has to listen to the consent of the governed.

Well, I contend the Supreme Court isn't doing that. I contend the G.O.P. isn't doing that. The Democrats aren't doing that. Bush didn't do that. Obama is not doing that.

That when a government becomes -- let me get the exact words. When it becomes destructive to those ends -- which ends? To protect your right, which comes from God and nature. Then you have the right to abolish or change it.

But there's more. Everybody -- everybody who is made at the government stops there. We're going to abolish it. We're going to burn it down.

Okay. You have a right to do that. But you'll notice, there's not a period after that line in the Declaration of Independence.

To alter or abolish and -- key word -- and to institute a new government, laying its foundation and organizing powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to make them happy and secure in those rights.

Everybody now is for anarchy. Burn it down. No! You have a right to alter or abolish. But what are you going to replace it with?

And you only have the right to alter or abolish, if that government will hearken to the higher law. Nature's God and nature's laws. And that government is instituted to secure those rights, not to build more hospitals, more bridges. Not to ensure world peace or keep you safe from terrorists.

Now, progressives want you to believe that the Declaration of Independence is a worthless document. Then I contend, we are 229 years old and not 240, which everyone in the -- on the planet will tell you we're 240 years old.

Let me give you an example: The Declaration of Independence is the what we believe. What is it we believe?

Men got together. When you want to build a house, you generally meet with an architect. And the architect says, "What do you want it to be like? Be specific. I want to know, what do you want it to feel like? What do you want it to look like? How do you want to use the rooms? What do you want to see in the windows? Do you -- what do you want?"

And you start generally, "We want something cozy. We want something magnificent. We want something to bring the outdoors in. I want to stop seeing the dreary weather. I don't want to see my neighbor." Whatever it is.

But generally speaking, an architect wants to hear what you feel. What is the point of each room? What is the point of your house, and what should it say?

When you finish that and they finish the document, you engage him to do it, and you sign a contract. Everybody in the room signs a contract. This is what we want. We're going to build that.

Then you have to go get a builder. And the builder comes in. And you say, "See this? I want to build this." And he says, "Okay. Well, to build that, I'm going to need this amount of money. I'm going need to these things. We're going to have to do this. We might have to change your vision a little bit here or there."

All men are created equal -- you got some slavery going on here. We might have to change some things. But I understand your intent.

Are all people going to be equal? Are you telling me that all the kids can use any bedroom at any time?

Yes, the baby's room can't be a baby's room the whole time. The baby is going to grow up. So, yes. We said that that's the baby room, but it has to be a room that a teenager could be in too.

Okay. Just want to make sure. Because you said it was the baby's room.

Yes, but things will change.

Okay. Great.

And you all sign that document.

Now, if you've had a problem with a contractor, like everybody has, you might also do a third document that says, "Oh, by the way, I've been burned by some contractors before, and you will not do these things." I know you're the contractor, but you do not have the right to do these things to my house or my property or my money.

Now, you know who didn't sign something like that? The builder of the Guggenheim. The builder of Falling Waters. Frank Lloyd Wright. He didn't care what you wanted.

In fact, he -- he went so far as one of his houses, the woman said, "I collect art, and my art is really important. And I want art on all of the walls." It pissed him off so much, that she would dare tell him what to do, he made it impossible for her to hang any art on the wall of her home.

Instead, he built a special room with little easels and a stairway to a loft up above, where she could walk up the stairs and look down at the easels at her art. That is what you get from working with Frank Lloyd Wright. That's a guy that you would have a third Bill of Rights -- yeah, you can't do these things.

This is the Declaration of Independence. What do we want the house to feel like? The Constitution is how do you build that? And the third one is, you can't do these things. The Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights restricts the contractor so you don't end up Frank Lloyd Wright. If you take away, what do we want it to look like? That's the architect's renderings

PAT: And, again, that's exactly why the Bill of Rights is a charter of negative liberties. It tells the --

GLENN: Yes.

PAT: It tells the builder what he cannot do to the house.

GLENN: Correct.

PAT: Because if you tell him the things he can do, anything that's not spelled out, he'll believe is his right.

GLENN: His right to do.

PAT: And he can go ahead and do it.

GLENN: Right. And so they say, we want to make it clear. It's in the first document that among these things -- put we just want to make that really clear.

PAT: These aren't the only things.

GLENN: We know that that's in the draft here. We know that the architect has put that in. So you can see the pretty picture and it's in the plans, but we want you to know: Those aren't the only things. There are also these things that you cannot do to the house.

And if you don't have the architectural drawings, the builder doesn't know what the hell he's even building.

That's the problem. The progressives, the first thing they did was get rid of the Declaration of Independence. It doesn't make any sense. What did Martin Luther King say? What stopped us? It wasn't the Constitution.

It was -- it's about time this country starts living up to its ideals, that all men are created equal.

Well, if the Declaration of Independence is worthless, then why should we give a flying crap about that?

Because we hold that truth to be self-evident, that's why. Because that's the house that we built. That's the image of who we are. The machinery with the Constitution may have gotten lost because the builder is no longer even using it as a reference point anymore.

And, in fact, the builder is saying, "By the way, I think those warnings that you said that I can't do those things, that third document -- I don't even think that third document, I can interpret that. And believe me. I've got nine other contractors over here, and they've looked at your -- your building plans. You can't build a house that way."

Well, wait a minute. I'm sorry. You get your power from the consent of me. So I guess your nine little men over there don't count over my vote. Because I got my family -- my 330 million people together, and they outweigh your nine freaking people, Mr. Contractor. So you're going to leave it there.

But we do what most people do when they're building a house: I knew that was wrong. I didn't want to say anything because I thought they knew better. And then you're living in a house you hate.

That is the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Restore that, and you won't have a problem with globalism. Because the house was never designed to be globalist!

Follow these three things, and we won't have a problem with poverty. Because it says we have the rights and the responsibilities to care for each other, not the government.

Follow those things, and we're going to be okay.

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From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

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.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

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 organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.