Over dinner one night, our family was discussing the idea of Unalienable Rights as described in the Declaration of Independence. (I have never made a secret that I am a Constitution nerd – but, yes, I guess a certain amount of that extends to my family!) We discussed the truth that our rights were endowed upon us by God – not by government. We went on to consider how the Declaration tells us government was instituted to secure rights we already possess. At this point, my 21-year-old son shared with us a beautiful illustration of this principle. I encouraged him to share that with us in the form of a blog article. The following is his idea of how to demonstrate that concept.
An elderly millionaire purchased a property. The long winding driveway led through beautiful trees on its way to a gorgeous fountain in front of a perfect mansion. The wood beams, spacious rooms, and ornate decorations created a residence fit for royalty.
The millionaire had an adopted son, George, that he loved and cherished. Sadly, the millionaire became very ill and died. He left the mansion and property to his son, so George moved in with his wife and two small children.
In order to keep the mansion a safe place to raise his family, George hired security to protect the property.
At first, everything was wonderful. The place remained beautiful, the security officers were friendly and respectful to George and his family, but slowly things started to change. The security officers went from friendly to comfortable, way too comfortable, with the property they were hired to protect.
Security officers started intruding on the privacy of the family, moving very freely through all of the property and house – regardless of where the family was or how they were using their property. The officers began stealing from the family’s possessions, and requiring the family to seek their permission for use of certain parts of the property. Over time, the security officers even claimed that the property was theirs, and it was by their permission George and his family were able to stay. When he confronted the officers, they evicted George and his family off the premises.
How could this be? The security company was hired by George to defend what his father had given him, and now it was the same security company stealing the property from the family.
When we use terms like “constitutional rights” or “second amendment rights” it is as if our rights come from the Constitution, amendments, or even worse, from government officials. As great as our Constitution is, if our rights were granted by the Constitution, then all it would take is 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the states to completely remove every right we have through the process of Constitutional amendments.
On the contrary, since our rights came from God Almighty, then no government agency, body, legislation, or even Constitutional amendment can ever strip them from us.
“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.”Declaration of Independence
Just like the mansion in the story, we have been given rights by our Heavenly Father. It is an endowment, an inheritance, from Him. We have put in place government to secure those rights. As foolish as it sounds for the security company to claim ownership of a mansion, it is strikingly similar to politicians claiming to have power to amend your rights.
No matter what the “law of the land” is, your right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness comes directly from God, and that is the safest place they could ever have come from!
I hope you enjoyed Daniel’s illustration of this principle as much as I did. Our rights are a gift from our Creator, and government’s purpose is to secure them. We hear many different things from our officials today about the primary purpose of government, but I don’t remember the last time I heard one of them say their purpose was to protect the unalienable rights of Americans – but that is exactly what the national charter for government in this country says! We need to re-educate (or remove and replace) our officials who have lost sight of their role as defined in our founding documents. We can’t allow them to steal the rich inheritance that is given by our Creator.