The Declaration of Independence acknowledges that we have been endowed by our Creator with rights, and it is the responsibility of the governments which we form to ensure that we may freely exercise these rights. It states that among these unalienable rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When Thomas Jefferson initially drafted the Declaration, these rights were listed as life, liberty and property, but even though the latter was changed, it is clear from the writings of the Founding Fathers that property was likewise considered a vital God-given right.

These God-given rights are currently under attack, and they are under attack because God is under attack. If atheists had their way, the word “God” would be scoured from every part of our land, and this action justified under the catchphrase “separation of Church and State.” Never mind that this often cited phrase never appears in the Declaration or the Constitution. This phrase has entered the public conscience and is often granted greater weight of authority than the actual text of the First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Having broken with England, the Founding Fathers didn’t want to establish a state church like the Church of England. Rather, they wanted the government to step away from religion and neither help nor hinder.

If atheists get their wish, and God is removed from our land, expect our rights to be removed shortly thereafter. I’ve seen some puzzled looks when I state that to friends, so let me explain that clearly. Our founding documents acknowledge that our rights come not from government, but from God. We grant the government authority to act in our behalf, and government exists only to serve and protect us. In other countries, the government itself bestows rights upon the people. And because the government gives these rights, the government can also take them away. You need only read Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution to see this in action. It states, “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” I’m sure you noticed just how well these rights of the people were protected at Tiananmen Square.

If there is no God, then who or what grants us our rights? They can’t be “God-given” if there is no God to give them, right? Then this implies that the rights must flow from the government. And what the government gives one day, it can easily remove the next. You can see how this has happened in the People’s Republic of China, and I do not wish to see it happen here in the United States. So I’ll be keeping both my God and my God-given rights, thank you very much.

Addendum: Imagine taking a large multi-story house and removing the steel reinforced concrete foundation and replacing it with massive wood beams. You could say that the foundation is just as strong, and you could be right. But by changing the materials of the foundation to something intrinsically weaker, you have entrusted the stability of your fine edifice to a material that will rot and be eaten by insects. Do you really want to do that? If you aren’t willing to do that with a house, why would you do that with our nation?

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