Do our rights come from the government?

Posted on April 23, 2011


The Myth

It has been argued by progressives that the government grants us our rights. These rights can be our most basic rights such as freedom of speech

The Facts 

If our rights are granted to us by our government then they can be taken from us by our government. We then exercise these rights only at the pleasure of the government. If the government grants us the freedom of speech we will be fearful of saying anything that would offend those in power for fear of losing our freedom of speech.

The Truth

Our rights are given to us directly by God.  Because our rights are given to us by God they cannot be taken away from us by the government. Governments may force us to be silent but they can never take away our God-given right freedom of speech.

The Proof

In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson states quite eloquently : “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”

Our founding fathers understood that our rights are handed down to us by God. Because of this no government could take them away. You may wonder why I am quoting the Declaration of Independence and not the Constitution? The Declaration of Independence is inseparable from the Constitution. The Declaration called our country into being and created a legal and moral framework no Constitution or laws can rightfully violate. Our Constitution must not violate the moral framework created by the Declaration. The Constitution was written to preserve this moral framework. If any interpretation of the Constitution violates the moral framework of the Declaration the interpretation is wrong.

The framers of the Constitution and the signers of the Declaration of Independence were all firm believers in Natural Law.  The writings of John Locke, William Blackstone, and Montesquieu are the primary sources our founding fathers used for ideas and inspiration. The  writings of these three authors is the foundation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  All three authors wrote extensively of Natural Law. According to Natural Law all of our rights come directly from God.

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