Thomas Jefferson was the main writer of the Declaration. There was a committee of which Jefferson was the chairman. When the document had been edited by John Adams, Jefferson sent it to Benjamin Franklin to be edited. The most important change that Franklin made was in the early portion of the document.
Jefferson had written, “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable.”
Franklin scratched them out and wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”
This simple change separated religion from the document and made the truths available to all religions. It separated religion from the government of the people. Since these truths are self-evident they don’t need the artificial moral values of any sect or religion for their governing value. Truth is not sacred, it is self-evident.
— John W. Robinson, Hamilton