Obama Again Omits ‘Creator’ When Speaking of ‘Inalienable Rights’ Cited in Declaration of Independence

September 27, 2010 - 2:23 PM

Obama praying

President Barack Obama bows his head during a prayer.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) - Just seven days after he sparked controversy by omitting the word “Creator” when he closely paraphrased the passage from the Declaration of Independence that says all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” President Barack Obama again omitted the Creator when speaking about the “inalienable rights” that “everybody is endowed with.”

This time the president was speaking at a Sept. 22 fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, and his reference to “inalienable rights” was not as close a paraphrasing of the Declaration as it had been the week before.

“And what was sustaining us was that sense that, that North Star, that sense that, you know what, if we stay true to our values, if we believe that all people are created equal and everybody is endowed with certain inalienable rights and we’re going to make those words live, and we’re going to give everybody opportunity, everybody a ladder into the middle class, every child able to go as far as their dreams will take them--if we stay true to that, then we’re going to be able to maintain the energy and the focus, the fight, the gumption to get stuff done,” Obama said at the DCCC/DSCC event, according to the transcript posted by the White House.

Speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Annual Awards Gala on Sept. 15, Obama had left out the word “Creator” when otherwise virtually quoting from the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” Obama said at that event, “that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights: life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That’s what makes us unique.”

Obama’s omission of the Creator from this Sept. 15 reference to the Declaration was noted and discussed on national talk radio and television programs. Rush Limbaugh played an audio clip of the relevant passage from Obama’s remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s dinner on his Sept. 20 program.

“Now, there's something very, very crucial and very important missing in that, and that is ‘endowed by our Creator,” said Limbaugh. “Now, Obama was using a teleprompter here. It's interesting. On Wednesday, he leaves the Creator as the source of our rights out of his quote of the Declaration of Independence. Yesterday heads over to church, eight o'clock in the morning, takes the hoof express, so the media can chronicle every step of the way. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain--by whom? Government? Who endows this equality? Who endows us with the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? This is not an insignificant thing, and the reason it's not insignificant is because all of these questions about who is Obama, who really shaped him, where are his values sourced to, who educated and informed this man? This is not a miscue. It's things like this that lead people to question his faith.”

On other occasions, Obama has correctly cited the famous passage from the Declaration without removing the Creator. For example, as Limbaugh also pointed out on his Sept. 20 program, Obama did quote the Declaration accurately in his book The Audacity of Hope.

Obama also quoted it correctly in the speech he delivered from the White House balcony this past July 4. “Two hundred and thirty-four years later,” Obama said then, “the words are just as bold, just as revolutionary, as they were when they were first pronounced: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'"

On Fox News on Sept. 20, Bret Baier reported that the White House said the president had made a mistake when he omitted the Creator from his citation of the Declaration of Independence at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute dinner. The “White House,” Baier reported, “said that President Obama went off script and adlibbed when he made that mistake.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute dinner, however, was not the first time President Obama has omitted mention of the Creator when speaking of the “inalienable rights” cited in the Declaration of Independence. He has also published official presidential proclamations that take this approach.

On Sept. 17, 2009, for example, Obama issued a “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” proclamation that mentioned man's “certain unalienable rights” but not the Creator who endows man with them.

This proclamation was issued in both Spanish and English—with neither versions mentioning the Creator.

In English, Obama proclaimed: “Signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, this founding document reflects our core values and enshrines the truths set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are each endowed with certain unalienable rights. As the beneficiaries of these rights, all Americans have a solemn obligation to participate in our democracy so that it remains vibrant, strong, and responsive to the needs of our citizens.”

In Spanish, Obama proclaimed: “Este documento de la fundación, suscrito en Filadelfia el 17 de septiembre, 1787, refleja nuestros valores básicos y ratifica los hechos presentados por la Declaración de Independencia: que a cada uno de nosotros se nos ha conferido derechos inalienables. Como beneficiarios de dichos derechos, todos los estadounidenses tienen la obligación solemne de participar en nuestra democracia, para que siga siendo dinámica y sólida, y responda a las necesidades de nuestros ciudadanos.

On Feb. 2, 2009, Obama issued a presidential proclamation for “National African American History Month” that mentioned “certain unalienable rights” Obama said "we all are endowed with" but did not mention the Creator, who, according to the Declaration of Independence, is the grantor of those rights.

“The ideals of the Founders became more real and more true for every citizen as African Americans pressed us to realize our full potential as a Nation and to uphold those ideals for all who enter into our borders and embrace the notion that we are all endowed with certain unalienable rights,” Obama proclaimed.