In its latest television advertisement, Samuel Adams of Boston brewing fame notes that its namesake signed the Declaration of Independence — apparently an abridged version of it:
The barkeep in the new ad, entitled “Independence,” quotes the Declaration as saying, “All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Endowed by whom? The original document reads “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Samuel Adams posted an explanation of the omission on its Facebook page:
The Beer Institute Advertising Code says, “Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes.” We agree with that and try to adhere to these guidelines. While we understand your objection to the omission of the phrase “by our creator” in other circumstances (after all, they occur in the Declaration of independence which Samuel Adams signed and helped author) we believe it would be outside our industry guidelines to invoke those religious words in a beer commercial.
So the Declaration of Independence is now subordinate to the Beer Institute Advertising Code? I think I need a drink.