Every July 4 since our nation declared independence in 1776, Americans have celebrated this truth:
“…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 to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” 1
The Declaration of Independence rejected unjust laws imposed by a privileged ruling class. The guiding principles of the Declaration of Independence were codified into the Bill of Rights to limit the power of government and protect our unalienable natural rights.
The First Amendment of the Constitution states that:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 2
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion
After World War II, natural rights were defined internationally as human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights published in 1948 states: 3
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person;” and
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood;” and
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks;” and
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance;” and
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
These are among the globally recognized human rights that protect individuals and minorities from discrimination and the kind of government oppression that President Thomas Jefferson talked about when he warned:
“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” 4
Freedom to Dissent Hallmark of Freedom
The legal right to dissent has been a hallmark of freedom in America. Unlike in authoritarian governments, 5 in our country, citizens have the right and responsibility to participate in the law making process. We have – or should have – the freedom to openly debate government policy, law and ethics in public forums and dissent from the majority without fear of intimidation or punishment. 6 7
But two and a half centuries after the Declaration of Independence, that is changing.
Autonomy, Protection of Bodily Integrity Attacked By New Ruling Class
An unprecedented attack on civil liberties and the right to dissent is being led by a new privileged ruling class whose power is not derived from aristocratic titles, wealth and political influence linked to genetic heritage and ownership of land. The power of the new ruling class in America is derived from academic titles, wealth and political influence linked to corporatized government 8 9 10 11 12 13 that seeks ownership of our physical bodies. 14 15 16 17 18
The right to autonomy and protection of bodily integrity is the first human right. 19 20 If you cannot voluntarily decide when and for what reason you are willing to risk your life or the life of your child, your unalienable right to life and liberty has been taken from you.
Whether you do or do not agree that every liability free vaccine product sold by pharmaceutical companies is safe and effective, or that federal vaccine policy is anchored with sound science, or that mandatory vaccination laws without informed consent protections are moral, you should take a hard look at recent actions by government officials and corporations to censor and repeal civil liberties that safeguard your human right to autonomy and protection of bodily integrity.
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