The pursuit of happiness honestly makes life much more enjoyable. I pursue happiness by playing power soccer. I pursue happiness by continuing my education. I pursue happiness by enjoying the company of good friends around a campfire.
Again though, we need to understand that the pursuit of happiness is similarly restricted by the fact that it is a right that comes from our Creator. I cannot pursue happiness by murdering other people; my right to pursue happiness stops where I violate the right to life or the right to liberty of my fellow citizens.
There is restriction, and that is not a bad thing.
Underlying this belief that the pursuit of happiness is a good thing presupposes that life is meant to be something that is enjoyed.
It implies that when the Creator endowed humanity with this right to pursue happiness, He did so with the intention that it would be something that would bring joy. It would be strange to say that humans are meant to pursue happiness that is not there.
I don’t know that we always live in that way. I think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in all of the various stressors of life that we forget that there is something that is enjoyable about life.
From a Christian worldview, we understand that one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians is joy. However, we understand that the source of that joy is God Himself. When we have the Holy Spirit within us, that presence will be evidenced by the spirit of joy among other things.
That is then the bottom line here. Throughout this series, I have pointed out why it seems that the founding fathers might have believed that the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are endowed by our Creator.
Most if not all of the founding fathers were approaching this discussion from a Christian worldview or at least a worldview full of Christian ideas. It was not hard for them to affirm life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as unalienable rights.
The question I want to leave you with however is whether or not all worldviews are able to affirm these rights in the same way.
As we reflected on Independence Day on the rights that we enjoy as Americans, I believe that it is no coincidence that these rights came from a society heavily influenced by the Christian worldview. Ideas have consequences, and in this case, those consequences were good.