In a heated debate over same-sex marriage with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Thursday, CNN morning anchor Chris Cuomo exclaimed that Americans’ rights “do not come from God.”
Cuomo’s abrupt response came after Judge Moore stated, “Our rights, contained in the Bill of Rights, do not come from the Constitution. They come from God. That’s clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
Cuomo, a licensed attorney, sharply interrupted Judge Moore, arguing, “Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that.
“They come from man. … That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/cnn-anchor-americans-rights-do-not-come-from-god/#5Q85lMxIVDQBWxOv.99
Rights are an issue that really rankles the conservative/libertarian base when you question the source or authority of them.
American history is replete with references to God as the ultimate source of man’s natural rights.
In fact, biblical scripture directly and profoundly influenced America’s Founding Fathers, who envisioned a nation based on Christian moral truth and natural law.
According to a peer-reviewed study titled, “The Relative Influence of European Writers on Late-Eighteenth-Century American Political Thought,” published in the American Political Science Review, an estimated 15,000 political writings produced by Americans during the founding era (1760-1805) revealed 34 percent of all quotations were drawn directly from the Bible, particularly Deuteronomy.
America’s Founding Fathers also drew inspiration from the philosophy of Englishman John Locke, who advocated limited government and recognized unalienable rights. Locke wrote, “In the state of nature, all men are equal to one another because they were created as such by God.”
All men are created equal? There is a key point to consider here. Context. All men are created equal in the eyes of God, however, not in the eyes of each other.
There is also another aspect of laws and rights that must be considered. Validity.
The Founders referred to Sir William Blackstone, an 18th-century legal scholar whose philosophy inspired the Constitution, more than any other English or American figure.
“[M]an, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator …” Blackstone wrote. “This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. This law of nature … is of course superior to any other. … No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”
This brings us to Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson was inspired by natural law when he proclaimed this.
The Declaration of Independence, adopted just weeks later, relies heavily on divinely inspired natural law: “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 …”
The last and perhaps most important point to consider when talking about rights and laws is enforcement. If a right or a law is unalienable because it was derived from our Creator himself, should it not pass the most basic premise? Meaning, it can NOT be taken away. I mean, after all, it is coming from the highest authority possible, isn’t it?
Or how about we take the religious controversy aspect right out of the equation? Let us say that whatever the right or law under discussion is, that it can be derived from any source of your choosing. Whatever you believe is the granting authority. God, man, yourself, heck we can even go with Spongebob Squarepants if you want.
Who is the enforcing authority? Who guarantees that a right or law is upheld? Exactly where the CNN anchor said.
Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.
This point isn’t even debatable. It is the collective. Your peers. Your neighbors. The police. Government. Whatever. Not because this makes it right, so to speak. Simply because it is. I can point to any right or law that exists, derived from any source or authority you can imagine, and illustrate how it can be taken away. If an entity in the universe exists, whether perceived or real, that can infringe upon or take away your unalienable right, you never had it to begin with. Not debatable. It’s a privilege.
You may say it can still exist, It’s just that the law was broken or the right infringed upon. Sorry. That means it wasn’t unalienable.
If you are a Christian, you have only one right period. That is the guarantee of Judgement Day. Your Creator will judge you as to your worthiness to exist in the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s it. Nothing more. No guarantee of life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness as any of them can be taken away by others. Not debatable. As our progressive friends tell us, a woman’s right to choose enables them to be executioner. They can snuff out your life right in the womb. What happened to your unalienable right to life?
Liberty? Our freedoms are taken away everyday. Maybe by statute. Perhaps by executive action. Or we just willingly surrender them in exchange for the perception of security.
Look, I’m not trying to tell anybody I’m any smarter than the next guy. That I know better than the Founders or the great philosophers of the past. I simply observe reality. Our so-called rights are merely privileges extended by others, the collective, as they can be taken away on a whim.
We may romanticize the concept of what our rights should be. We can aspire to uphold a higher standard. Of course it’s ideal that all humans should have their most basic needs fulfilled. Life on earth says differently.
Chris Cuomo likely has a political axe to grind in disagreeing with the good Judge Roy Moore. I don’t end up on the same page with Cuomo concerning rights because I agree with his leftist views. I do so because it’s my right. Ha!
*After writing this post, I see that Mark Levin has weighed in. I’m a big fan of Mark Levin.
Rights are not about laws,” said Levin. “Rights are not about power. Where do these unalienable rights come from – these involatile rights, the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”
Levin then answered saying, “They don’t come from man. They don’t come from a collection of men that we call government. These are rights. You are born with these rights. They don’t come from reason. They don’t come from logic. They are. Period.”
“The right to live,” remarked Levin, “is not a right conferred by man. Birth, supposed to not be a right conferred by man.”
“You see ladies and gentlemen, we have certain rights outside of government,” said Levin. “We have certain rights that belong to us as individual human beings – not because some Congress says so, not because some president says or Supreme Court says so, or the EPA says so, not because Chris Cuomo says so; it’s because it is so.”
“This is a fundamental, if not the fundamental issue, around which this nation was founded – that our rights do not come from man, that our rights come from God,” said Levin.
“Now many of you out there may not believe in God,” said Levin. “You may not be sure if you believe in God. I talked about this at some length the other day; I’ve written about it in ‘Liberty and Tyranny.’ That’s perfectly fine. Believe or don’t believe, whatever you want.”
“But that’s not how the nation was founded,” declared Levin. “And the fact that we are a tolerant society, the fact that we are at tolerant society is because of this insistence we have in the Declaration of Independence that each and every one of you, each and every one of us, have unalienable rights. And Barack Obama can’t take them away, John Boehner, McConnell, Harry Reid, no justice, no group of justices, no judge, nobody. Nobody can take them away.”
“They’re outside of government,” repeated Levin. “They’re bigger than mankind!”
“No, you don’t have to believe me,” said Levin. “You don’t have to believe me. No I’m not talking about passing statutes or codes or ordinances and that sort of thing, obviously that involves politics and government. I am talking about fundamental human rights.”
“And the left does not believe in fundamental human rights,” Levin said. “They believe in fundamental quote, unquote rights dispensed by government, and this is where the problem rests!”
Nobody can take them away? Mark, it happens every single day. If they were truly fundamental as you say, this could not happen. I rest my case.