God and the State on Rights


“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.”

I have to wonder how many know these words come straight from the Declaration of Independence.  We hear so much about separation of Church and state nowadays that it seems much of our culture has forgotten this country was founded by men who — in spite of denominational differences — professed faith in a common God who alone grants us rights and apart from Whom no institution may grant others.

So in Christian theology God alone grants rights and no state or person can grant right apart from God.  Gay “marriage” and abortion for example are not rights as God has not deemed them rights.  Such things are merely tolerated by God to exist for the purpose of bringing out some good, like the proving of saints through trial. Existence does not necessarily mean a right to it.  This is because God has two types of wills: active and passive.  God’s active will is basically that which God actively causes to be while His passive will basically is that which He allows to come into being for the purpose of leading His saints to greater holiness.

Today secularists do not simply want to permit these things as necessary evils, but they actively push them as rights upon our culture and as we have already seen they cannot legitimately call abortion and homosexuality rights for example because God has never established them as rights but rather has deemed them sins.  Now schools regularly teach these things as rights and lobbyists largely advocate them as rights.  This is not by God’s desire, but the desire of men.

So, we hear this separation of Church and state canard which is nowadays understood very differently from what even the Founding Fathers understood it as.  In the modernist mindset the Church should have absolutely no place in the public forum: Nativity scenes and crosses should not be put on display in public squares, abortion and homosexuality for example should not be discouraged even if a large number of Americans oppose it.  You can even find historical records of state constitutions at that time which declared Christianity or specifically Protestantism as their state religion while simultaneously granting freedom of religion.  North Carolina’s Constitution for example still states all public officials must profess belief in God; it doesn’t say you have to be Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim.

While I would not say the Founding Fathers’ views were perfect by any stretch of the imagination, since the Constitution is not like the Bible and especially not God, they understood the basics that “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are inalienable rights endowed by our Creator.  Sure, it’s a bit vague.  They further went into detail when they wrote that nobody “shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” [1].  They understood that life and property for example could not be taken away by anybody or by the state; for example they knew about the divine law against murder but understood in cases of murder the person forfeited their life as God told Noah, “Anyone who sheds the blood of a human being, by a human being shall that one’s blood be shed; For in the image of God have human beings been made” [2].

Here is a short homily on freedom in Jesus Christ:

[1] Constitution of the United States, Amendment V

[2] Genesis 9:6


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