Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

According to the Declaration of Independence, all people are endowed by their Creator, with certain “unalienable rights” amongst which are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. How ironic is it, then, that many end up searching for these rights independent of the Creator who is credited with endowing them.  Thus is the tragic irony for many of our Latino brothers and sisters who, as they arrive on our fair shores, leave their biblical values behind in favor of the perceived notion of happiness bought about by consumerism and the almighty dollar. Hispanic America: Faith, Values and Priorities, a study recently released by Barna Hispanics in conjunction with the American Bible Society, the NHCLC and OneHope, further enforced this notion by revealing that although 87% of Latinos own a Bible, only 8% read it regularly–and many do not use its principles to inform their worldview!

At a time when drop-out, depression and debt rates abound amongst our community, we are at an unprecedented crossroads in our history. What legacy will we leave behind for our sons and daughters? What will “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” mean to a generation who is largely skeptical of the claims of the Gospel and its promise of “more and better life than they ever dreamed of (John 10.10, The Message)?” As leaders in our respective communities, we cannot sit idly by as the biblical principles that should inform every aspect of our lives become more of a novelty than a standard in our culture.

Ergo, we must return to our roots by rethinking the position of the Bible in our society, re-setting our own Bible engagement practices, and re-engaging those around us in the vertical and horizontal elements of the Gospel message. We must challenge the notion that the Bible is an outdated rulebook and demonstrate its efficacy as the source of abundant living so that all people might experience its life-changing message.  This seismic shift, however, must start with us if it is to infiltrate the innermost corners of our families, churches and communities.  Join us as we put the Bible back into the center of our daily living and once again remind society that the ideas of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were created in the context of a Creator who yearns for abundant living in each of us.

For free Spanish-language resources, please visit

Rev. Dr. Emilio A. Reyes is the Executive Director of the Multi-Language Ministry Unit at American Bible Society, which exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message.

To purchase a copy of Hispanic America: Faith, Values & Priorities please CLICK HERE

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