Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are 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.”
In just two sentences Jefferson outlines truths which appeared to the signers of the declaration as self-evident. Yet, without a studied approach to these truths, one looking at the world today would wonder how self-evident these truths really are.
Governments derive their just powers from the people? One looking from the outside would argue that it is Government itself that chooses who gets to live, what freedoms people enjoy, and who gets to be happy.
We learn from the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, in The Proper Role of Government the following:
Rights are either God-given as part of the Divine Plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. Reason, necessity, tradition and religious convictions all lead me to accept the divine origin of these rights. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.
When government has the power to choose for the people, the people are no longer free.
One of our founders, Thomas Paine, wrote:
Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another… It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.
In his book The Law, Frederick Bastiat wrote:
Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
Who caused Life, Liberty and Property to exist beforehand?
For mankind to exist freely it must first recognize God’s hand in freedom. There is no other way. The very moment that man takes God out of the equation and gives another man the power to govern his or her well being, they are no longer free. So what is the role of government?
William Blackstone wrote:
The principal aim of society is to protect individuals, in the enjoyment of those absolute rights, which were vested in them by the immutable laws of nature; but which could not be preserved, in peace, without that mutual assistance, and intercourse, which is gained by the institution of friendly and social communities. Hence it follows, that the first and primary end of human laws, is to maintain and regulate these absolute rights of individuals.
So how do we as a people protect the freedom of a nation?
George Washington spoke in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” We must recognize and sustain the importance of religion and morality in our lives, in the lives of our families, and in the lives of our neighbors – wherever they may be.
This is accomplished by taking the following steps:
First, become grateful. When we find gratitude for gifts from God, we are more inclined to respect those gifts. It is very difficult to have the negative emotions of greed and pride when we are grateful for all that God gives us. People who recognize God’s gift of unalienable rights are much less likely to stomp on those same gifts given to others.
Second, defend all that is good and reject evil. History has shown the collapse of great civilizations as they turn from a moral people to an immoral people. Immorality, greed, and pride destroy from within. As a society, we are the sum of its parts. We must live a moral and pure lifestyle. We must stand as the light on the hill and do what we can to persuade, not force, others to live pure lives and reject evil.
Third, act. Too many people are tuned in to their computers or televisions to be entertained by people who do not have their freedom in mind. Others seek power and control. It is time that each of us make a difference. Start your own “school”. Teach others the principles of freedom. Share articles like this with others. Pay it forward! Together we can! As a people, as a nation, we must reclaim our freedoms or live with the consequences. For every action there is a reaction.
It has been proven throughout history that giving up some freedom does not lead to more freedom. As nonsensical as this sounds, many buy into this argument. On its face you can see that this argument must to be filled with lies and deception. Do not buy into the gifts from the State, but recognize those gifts endowed to us by our Creator!