Just who bestows unalienable rights?
If you posed this question to US citizens at their country’s founding you would have gotten a totally different answer than what prevails as popular thinking here in the 21st Century.
The Founders of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence, which sought to answer this question. It reads in part, “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.”
We all learned of this declaration in elementary school and future US history classes in middle school or high school. But I do not doubt that this hallmark of our country’s founding is being emphasized in public schools anymore. Instead, the Leftists have taken over the vast majority of the public education system. They are pushing a new philosophy that reverts back to principles from the Enlightenment. Namely, tradition and belief in God’s omniscience are replaced with an emphasis on individual rights and self-determinance. A common human nature shared by all has been rejected for an acceptance of humanism and socialism instead.
In other words, the Leftists claim we all exist for the State. We all belong to our respective governments, with a duty to submit to the State’s control. Remember back in April 2013 when MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry infamously stated, “So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities?”
Former Democrat-Nominee for the US Presidency, Hillary Clinton published a book in 1996 titled, “It Takes a Village.” In the book she discusses the rights and needs of children, arguing that we all share in the responsibility to raise all children. As one Washington Post journalist described Clinton’s suggestions, “‘[I]t takes a village’ often becomes code for ‘it takes Washington.’” Clinton, just like the rest of the Leftists, think a utopia here on earth is possible, if only we had the right social programs, free health care, no guns, and more governmental control on all aspects of everyone’s life.
Is the Left correct? After all, we have longstanding laws on the books that state a human being has no human rights until he or she is born. Is it the government who bestows unalienable rights to its citizens?
To answer the question of who bestows unalienable rights, let me share the correct answer, given by Charles Rice, Professor Emeritus at Notre Dame Law School. He wrote in his book, Contraception and Persecution, the following:
“The only basis for inalienable rights against the State is the creation of the immortal person in the image and likeness of God. Every State that has ever existed, or ever will exist, has gone out of business or will go out of business. Every human being that has ever been conceived will live forever. That is why you have transcendent rights against the State.
“The person does not exist for the State. The State exists for the person. And for the family. But if there is no God, everything is up for grabs. A relativistic secularism is the de facto official religion of the United States” (emphasis added, pgs 34-35).
I am glad Professor Rice is there for us to set the matters straight and to answer the question as to just who bestows unalienable rights.
For, as he points out elsewhere in his fine book, if he is wrong, then what we would have is a political power struggle. If there is no Natural Law we all share that surpasses us all, then the powers of governance will fall to those who possess the greatest strength to enforce its ideology: “might makes right.”
Sadly, although Professor Rice is correct as to where our unalienable rights come from, our culture has rejected this premise and has embraced secularism, moral relativity, and legal positivism in its place. If you wonder whether this rejection of God as Creator has worked out too well, just look around. See the flames? Smell the sulfur?
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