Asking the Wrong Questions About Rights and Freedom

With the recent Supreme Court’s upholding the constitutionality of the Health Care Law known as Obamacare and the upcoming Independence Day holiday, I’ve been pondering how many pundits are asking and answering the wrong question.  Headlines are everywhere about the government upholding every American’s right to, in this case, health care.

That’s asking and answering the wrong question: “What rights does the government give us?”

Because the truth is the government didn’t come first.  The rights we have date back to our Creator. 

That’s what the Bible says and for those who don’t like the Bible, it’s also what the Declaration of Independence says.  

Significantly drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the same man who took a pair of scissors to his Bible to make a book scrubbed of any supernatural elements, the United States Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the anniversary we celebrate as the Fourth of July, Independence Day. The text of the second section of the Declaration of Independence states,

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

If we take the Bible and the Declaration of Independence to be correct, the government doesn’t give us any rights.  Our Creator does.

So the right question becomes, “What is the purpose of the rights we have?” 

The rights we have are given so that we might freely choose how to live (i.e. whether we will follow God or choose a different way).  The government’s role is not to give any rights whatsoever.  The role of government is to guard and protect our freedom and to preserve those God-given rights that we already have.

  • Will we find life with God or without Him?
  • Will we enjoy full liberty in Him or apart from Him?
  • Will we pursue and find genuine happiness with God or on our own?

It’s part of what makes the United States of America a beautiful place to live.  It is why America is the envy of an oppressed world which yearns for the political freedom to pursue God-given rights.

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Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on July 2, 2012

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