Day 2 Reflection & Discussion – February 11, 2016

REFLECTING ON ‘PROPERTY AND OWNERSHIP’

“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.”

Thus says the US Declaration of Independence.

There has been much discussion about the origin and meaning of the phrase, “pursuit of happiness.” Most historians believe the founders were strongly influenced by the Virginia Declaration of Rights also written in 1776, which states, “… all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights…namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

From the beginning of our nation, acquiring property has been considered essential to one’s well-being (happiness), and home ownership is considered the access point to the “American Dream.”

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How has “the American Dream” influenced your decisions and life goals?
  2. Has property ownership been a part of your definition of “the good life?” Why?
  3. What do you think happens socially and economically when acquiring property is held up as an “unalienable right” “endowed by our Creator”?
  4. Do you think God has an opinion about the “right” to pursue happiness in this context? What might it be?
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