Freedom’s Foundation: Understanding the Origin of Our Rights – The Stream

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring some of the things that most Americans actually agree upon. In this era of controversy, rage, and divisiveness, I think it’s important to identify and rally around this common ground. And, as I’ve said numerous times, we must do this without compromising our principles.

While the current political climate makes this challenging, it is far from impossible. In fact, when it comes to core issues, I think there is actually quite a bit of agreement among Americans.

Our Rights Don’t Come From the Government

This week, I’d like to explore a fundamentally important concept that I still believe the vast majority of Americans can agree upon: our rights do not come from the government.

Now, before you think I’ve lost my mind, let me unequivocally state that there are some lovers of government out there who believe government is god and that it should control virtually everything in our lives. I’m not disputing that.

What I am disputing is how many of these very unhappy, misguided folks actually exist.

It cannot be stated too emphatically or too often that the Radical Left appears to be bigger than it actually is today. It does this by controlling the levers of power and influence. They then use that power and influence to amplify their voices while diminishing or even silencing the voices of the clear majority.

Several years ago, the late, great Rush Limbaugh identified what he called the “4 Corners of Deceit” in our society today: academia, government, media, and science. I have added 3 more to this group and refer to them as the “7 Pillars of Propaganda”: big business, entertainment, and social media.

Who controls those very influential and powerful institutions? Is it a group of freedom-loving conservatives? Or is it a bunch of power-hungry lovers of government?

The answer is obvious.

And so is the impact.

Yet, in spite of all of this, I believe that most Americans would be able to find agreement on the idea that our rights do not come from the government. And I think we should capitalize on this agreement and build upon it.

Rights Come From Our Creator

Our Founders were correct in stating that our rights come from our Creator.

I’m not sure how many Americans would credit God as the source of our rights today, but I still believe they know our rights shouldn’t be dependent upon a group of politicians, clowns, and tyrants.

Perhaps some would say that our rights come from the universe or as a result of the Big Bang or some undefinable life force, but they inherently know our rights cannot come from the government.

If we can get agreement on this truth and clearly identify what logically follows from it, Americans would realize that they are standing squarely on a constitutional conservative worldview. Of course, many would not want to be labeled as such, but that doesn’t change the reality that they are, in fact, embracing a foundational concept of the ideology.

If our rights do not come from our Creator, from whom do they come? Other human beings? Wouldn’t this make us subject to them? If they can determine our rights, wouldn’t that mean they have absolute authority over our lives? Are we, as independently-minded Americans ready to embrace such a ridiculous lie?

The truth is, no matter how you frame it, it is absolutely necessary for a free people to be granted rights by their Creator. Having those rights come from anyone else invalidates the idea that we are indeed free.

Applying the Principles of God

Recently, I encountered someone on social media who was incredulous that I would claim our rights are the gift of God. This individual seemed annoyed at the idea that God is the grantor of all rights. In fact, they asked me to provide a list of the rights God grants us in the Bible.

Now, we need to pause for a moment to discuss an important point here. While we can and should read (and most importantly, apply) the instructions in the Bible, it was not written to be a governmental handbook. No, the purpose of the Bible is to tell the story of humanity and the incredible steps God took to redeem a lost, broken, and sinful people.

So to think there is a list of God-given rights people have been directly afforded by God in the pages of the Holy Bible is to misinterpret its intent. The Bible is more interested in helping us see our desperate need for a Savior than it is with making sure we understand the proper relationship between man and government.

However, that also doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t teach us things that we can apply to the way God intended us to live on this side of heaven.

I think about it like this: God created us with a free will. We are, in fact, free to choose. And the most basic, fundamental choice we have is to choose whether or not we want to live in relationship with God.

While it’s clear which choice God wants us to make, He has exercised His free choice to give us free choice. He will not force us to choose a relationship with Him.

And while He will “stand at the door and knock,” He will not barge in and take us captive against our will. That isn’t love. And it’s precisely why God ultimately grants people the right to choose a life without Him — a choice that ultimately ends where God is not present: hell.

God Values Our Freedom … and It’s Our Choice to Make

It is clear that God values choice. And by valuing choice, God is valuing freedom.

My friends, what is a right if it isn’t an entitlement to make a personal choice?

You know, choices that pertain to how or if we will worship God.

Choices relating to what we think. Or say. Or post online.

Choices regarding those with whom we associate.

Even choices to express our anger and frustration at our government.

And dare I add the choice to protect our families from a physical threat.

In case it isn’t obvious at this point, those choices listed above are the very rights listed in the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution (in the Bill of Rights).

And that is how the Founders – and we – arrive at the fundamental truth that our rights come from God and not government.

For those who still aren’t satisfied, consider looking up the following Bible verses. They give insight into the value God places on freedom: Joshua 24:15; Psalm 119:45; John 8:36; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 5:13-14.

That’s just scratching the surface, too, my friends. There are other verses we could also list. But not only that: if we had more time, we could analyze biblical stories and concepts.

The bottom line is clear: God values our freedom. And a right is quite simply a choice God has given us the freedom to make. We are not granted this freedom by any other person or government. It is ours to make.

Todd Huff of The Todd Huff Show is an entertaining syndicated radio show host and podcaster, a dynamic columnist, and an insightful political/cultural commentator. His journey began in 2015, podcasting from his closet, a testament to his grassroots approach. Hailing from the heart of small-town USA in flyover country, Todd embodies the spirit of common sense in today’s discourse, proudly advocating a conservative but not bitter perspective.

Originally published at Reprinted with permission.

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