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Pilgrim Pursuit of Happiness
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Pilgrim Pursuit of Happiness
Pilgrim Pursuit of Happiness

By Leo Martin of Plymouth, MA

The Declaration of Independence states that one of our unalienable rights is the pursuit of happiness. It is clear from the records of both Virginia and Massachusetts at the time that this phrase meant the right to privately own property. However, what is also clear is that the unalienable right we have is to pursue happiness and not obtain happiness.

Today Americans often mistake the meaning of this phrase and think that their government owes them happiness in all flavors, to be claimed by them at any time.

What Leo Martin has done is to clearly articulate the meaning of this phrase by going to the root of our country, the Pilgrims. No other people at the time of our nation's initial development portray, as families and a migrating Church, the meaning of pursuing happiness under the Hand of a Sovereign God better than this tiny band!

Though never in a majority and never wealthy; they considered themselves to be rich in spiritual treasure. Though they sought no shrine to honor themselves, a nation has honored them as the root of its liberty though in our day they have been largely forgotten. It is time we returned to what truly made America great. It is time we remembered the nature of the liberties brought by the Pilgrims in their simple faith, heart-felt devotion and iron-clad character.

Though the seeds planted by them eventually grew into a tree much larger and with leaves a bit different in color than they may have anticipated, their love of family, their stand for freedom, and their faith in God stand tall and point in the direction toward which our nation can recover from her amnesia. Let this little book be read and re-read to your children and grandchildren, that the stories of our past may come alive again.

—Dr. Paul Jehle Executive Director - Plymouth Rock Foundation

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