Samuel Adams Commercial ‘Misquotes’ Declaration of Independence, Irks Internet

The spot leaves out the phrase “endowed by their Creator.”

A little Fourth of July hangover story for you: a patriotic commercial for Samuel Adams beer has inspired the ire of internet commenters (really, what hasn’t?) for only partially quoting the Declaration of Independence. In the spot, an actor pours a Sam Adams as he says:

… Samuel Adams signed the Declaration of Independence. He believed that there was a better way to live. All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …

Astute readers of the Declaration (published in full here) will recall that they’re missing a key phrase there. “They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” (Emphasis ours, not Jefferson’s.) Cue the outrage!

“Unbelievable Sam Adams insults the majority of people in this country who are religious and patriotic to make happy a few that hate this country and hate religion,” says YouTube user fuzzypaws17. (LOL.)  “I have been endowed by my creator with the unalienable right to never buy Sam Adams Beer again,” says John Johnsonville. Over on Twitter, it continues:

F0r this, Media Bistro has declared the ad a potential PR disaster. Other, calmer commenters point out that money is time in the land of commercials. And the actor doesn’t exactly sound like he’s making a direct quote, just kind of paraphrasing the main points that make the Declaration worthy of buying their alcoholic beverage. He leaves out some other words, too. In fact, the full sentence, with words that don’t appear in the Sam Adams commercial bolded, is, “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.” But you don’t hear anyone bitching about “that among these are” going missing. That among these are, guys! That’s important, too!

But also probably the larger point here is that no one is actually angry about this and it does not matter. YouTube commenters are not real. They do not exist IRL. If they did, then we’d really have cause to lose faith in America.

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  • georgedixon1

    If an attributed quote is used it really should be used accurately.
    To omit part begs the question ‘why’?

    The choice of what to omit could be seen to speak as loudly of politics and political correctness as the complaints are said to reflect another side.

    Beer without manipulative advertising tastes great….Beer with manipulative advertising tastes ‘skunky’.

  • john_robinson

    Why can’t we return to the good old days of beer commercial with parties and girls in bikinis and mascots… oh yeah, the feminazis hated it.

    • Roger_the_Shrubber

      Or the classic “It’s Miller Time” commercials where hard working blue collar guys grab a cold beer after a hard day’s labor.

  • Roger_the_Shrubber

    didn’t obama do the exact same thing in a speech?

  • jackwoodson

    Everybody skip buying Sam Adams beer for a while – there’s lots of alternatives and we’re endowed by our creator to exercise choice..

    • Clovis4

      Which creator are you talking about?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

        Good point.

        With at least hundreds of thousands of man-made gods, it would be tough to know which one the commenter jackwoodson wants to have dictate his selection of which beer to purchase.

  • donco6

    THIS is what has the right wing’s panties in a bunch? Stupid.

  • RegConserative
  • doonyool

    Is the corporation ashamed of our heritage, embarrassed by it or does the company hate God? It’s good beer but, not that good.

    • Clovis4

      Do Christians hate God? They seem to know so little about the religion they follow. If you have a question on religion ask an atheist.

      http://blog.beliefnet.com/omeoflittlefaith/2010/09/atheists-know-more-about-the-bible-than-christians.html

      • Shimmer128

        I wouldn’t ask an atheist about a God they do not know! Why?? That seems very obvious. Also, you make a blanket statement against Christian knowledge, then you offer yourself and other atheists as experts….on Christianity? Really? How pompous of you.

        • Clovis4

          Can you read? I make no claim but simply link to a study that makes that statement. It would seem that atheists make a judgment based on knowledge of the subject and many Christians don’t. It is an obvious conclusion of the study and one the authors point out. Sorry if the truth offends.

          • Shimmer128

            Your words don’t bother me in the least, including your snide tone. Whatever you want to claim is fine with me, since it and your “study” are all garbage. :D

          • Clovis4

            My study? Sigh.

          • Franklin Barfield

            To every Christian or atheist: to even BEGIN to know God you must know his Word, which is the Holy Bible. Jesus Christ himself claimed that he was the living embodiment of the Word of God… as revealed in the Old Testament. He also said that he came not to change a single letter of the OT, but instead to fulfill it. He also said no one could enter Heaven but by him. You are right, most Christians don’t know what is in the Bible or who Christ was, what he said or what he was about. Kinda like you…

          • Clovis4

            So you are okay with the slavery, genocide, rape and murder that God commands and Jesus gives his stamp of approval? Do you want the death penalty for all non-virgin women on their wedding night? How about death to kids who talk back to
            their parents? If you follow the word of God you must follow these commandments. If not you are just another fraud who picks the parts of the bible you like.

          • Franklin Barfield

            Very much the standard respose of the lazy, thoughtless and unstudied, of which I too was once upon a time. However I did the curious thing rarely done these days. I read the Bible myself. All of it. I studied it showing myself approved unto God by rightly dividing the Word. Of Truth. Not just accepting what others had to say about it which was very often fallacious and/or out of context. It is quite easy to pull a few lines out of Scripture and quote them out of context to suit your purposes. But that has been the device of both people like you and most of today’s pastors of the omnipresent TV mega-churches. It is the responsibility of the individual to educate themselves what God says (and speaks quite clearly I might add) not just accept what spews from the pulpit at times. You waste your time trying tell me things about the Bible you evidently don’t know the slightest about.

      • doonyool

        Why would one ask a blind man about the effects of colors or a deaf man about Mozart? Keep your fingers in your ears little one and keep chanting.

        • Clovis4

          Your post makes no sense. I state a fact and this is your response? Why do Christians know so little about their religion? The thing they claim to base their life on.

  • fnaylor1972

    Sam Adams’ could have very well done a patriotic commercial that did not have to butcher The Declaration of Independence

  • Bunson Honeydew

    It’s just a beer commercial not a history lesson. Do you think everything on TV has got to be real just because it’s on TV? Either you don’t drink enough or you drink too much.

  • kay2861

    You have to put this in context to understand the outrage. The reason the Founding Fathers included this phrase in the Declaration has to do with “natural rights” that are given to us as human beings by God. If God has given us our rights, then no MAN can take them away. If that phrase is omitted, then it implies that “rights” can be given and taken away by men (presidents, congress, etc). I have seen several instances in recent years where people have omitted the words “by our creator” from the Declaration of Independence. Obama has done this several times. I think he does it deliberately, and I think the Samuel Adams ad was a deliberate omission also.
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=yR61uTGTFoM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DyR61uTGTFoM

    • Eric

      Bingo! We have a winner.

  • John Hill

    They did it because Obama himself disgracefully omits it every time, and Sam Adams execs are Massachusetts liberals, so we get a black dude saying it wrong like Obama. Buh-bye Sam Adams, I am so over you.

  • brianbrawdy

    Hey Eric, didn’t you get your start as a YouTube Commentator?

  • Mateo On Mongo

    The only “internet” folks who seem to be offended are mostly likely of the Fundie, redneck, and basically noisy white conservative persuasion (unlike the “black dude” and sometime “Obama reminder” they’ve also objected to in the commercial)!
    Although personally I like the ad, and will likely start ordering me some Sam Adams now (a beer that would probably never appeal much to the Bud and Keystone crowd anyway …lol)!

  • get’s it

    Maybe the one who made this decision doesn’t believe in god. You’ll cry about your rights of religion but don’t care for others rights to not follow yours. Religious people are some the biggest hypocrites on the planet. Or consider this, maybe the commercial just sounds better with out it.

  • Franklin Barfield

    It never ceases to dismay the level of historical ignorance of the nature of our nation’s founding and Founders, both of atheists who vainly try to hide behind secularism but also of Christians who’ve been exposed to the same purposefully mis-education of American youth in the now horrible government schools.

    FYI: Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence all but Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin was either a pastor, minister or deacon of one Protestant denomination or other. This also includes Samuel Adams BTW. There wasn’t a non-Christian among them contrary to popular belief and educational indoctrination. This is easily documented by these men’s own letters and writings most of which can be quite easily found by the interested.

    Their collective Christian faith was central to their formation of the Declaration and it was their near ceaseless collective praying to the Christian God and his Son Jesus Christ by the representatives of the Continental Congress – while in session – when their differences became seemingly unsolvable that allowed them to produce our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

    There’s just too much ignorance all around on the character and faith of these men and women at our nation’s birth. I will only say one thing more: the senseless editing of the Declaration in this commercial was no small thing, but a stinging slap in the faces of the vision and the awful sacrifices of the titans that were our Founders by weaselly, ignorant, disrespectful and cowardly corporate parasites.

    • Kimberly Gamba

      Thank you sir, for this response. I spells out what I so wanted to say.