Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Unalienable Rights? Who Says?

Since this week is Inaugural Week and we have all been on a political “high”, I have a question

If the following is true....

"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."

Then how is it the government can take these rights away and often does? Unalienable is defined, “not to be separated, given away, or taken away.” And YET the Government separates, gives away and takes away each of these at certain times. There seems to be a conflict between “who” grants these rights and who defends them.

The Declaration of Independence continues…

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” How is it the government has the right to separate the governed from the rights they are supposed to protect? The only thing in my mind that would allow for this is two…

A.      The Government considers itself equal to the “Creator” who first endowed these rights, or…

B.      The governed must consent to the separation

But therein is the problem that I have with these options. Only the one who endows the right can grant permission to others to eliminate the right. This means that option “B” is not permissible. That would leave option “A” causing the government to be equal to the Creator but there can be only one Creator and only one defender. So where does this leave us?

The writers of the Declaration of Independence invoked a concept of “Creator” but left it to later generations to define “who” or “what” created the rights. It seems obvious, to me anyway, that the Government considers itself as the Creator of Rights and therefore has the authority to separate the governed from the rights IT bestows. If it were any other way, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution would have no need to define the rights in the first place. Only the one who grants rights has the need to define said rights….

I believe we live in the greatest nation in the world. I DON’T believe it is a Christian nation, nor do I think it ever was. At best I think our founders were deists. That being said, our Christian vocation to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, body and strength and our neighbor as ourselves creates a great opportunity for us to express the free will that is indeed granted by God. Each human being, citizen or not, has the free will to follow Jesus Christ or not. Each human being, citizen or not, has the free will to live a Christian life or not. Since God grants this free will “right” who are we to take that right away?

But who are “you” to take MY free will away to worship God, to proclaim Him, and to serve Him as He commands?

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