God-Given Natural Rights, Man-Made Anti-Rights, and Why “Safety Nets” Are Immoral Part 2
“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.” -The Declaration of Independence
It is not the federal government’s job to secure ALL of our Natural Unalienable Rights, just those appropriate for a “federal” government. Other God-given rights are secured by state and local governments.
How is the Natural Right to Life Secured? The federal government is to secure our right to life by military defense (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 11-16); by protecting us from invasion (Art IV, Sec. 4); by prosecuting traitors (Art III, Sec. 3); and by laws against piracy and other felonies committed on the high seas (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 10).
The States reserved the powers to secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, outlawing abortion, euthanasia, drunk driving, the selling of harmful substances to minors, and imposing quarantines for dangerous contagious diseases. States may also choose to have pure food and drug laws.
States also once secured our right to life by means of “support laws” which required family members to care for their own. Fathers were to provide for their minor children and adult children for their elderly parents. Biblical mandates require family members to care for their own – and at one time, State laws implemented this Godly Principle.
But in our brave new world, people are no longer obligated to support dependent family members – many just go on a government program. That is what Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, are about – relieving people of their moral responsibilities to themselves and to their own families and relying on government as their source.
Such programs also increase the size and power of the federal government. These immoral government programs become a “right” in the people’s minds, or in other words, a “man-made anti-right”. This is how We created the meddling and over-grown government of today, which must violate our natural right to property in order to exist.
Charity is not an enumerated power! Father of the Constitution James Madison said, in opposition to a proposal to give aid to French emigrants that “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” (Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, Jan. 10, 1794, p. 170-171).
How is the Natural Right to Property secured? The federal government is to secure our property rights by requiring an honest money system based on gold & silver, and by establishing uniform and honest weights & measures (Art I, Sec. 8, cl 5). Inflation by means of paper currency and fractional reserve lending is theft; so honest money must be based on precious metals. Honest money and honest weights & measures are called for in the Bible.
The federal government is to secure our property rights by punishing counterfeiters (Art I, Sec. 8, cl 6). In addition, the federal government is to secure our property rights by providing for bankruptcy courts. This permits the orderly dissolution of debtors’ estates with fair treatment of creditors; or the reorganization of financially troubled businesses for the benefit of all (Art I, Sec 8, cl 4).
And the federal government is to secure our property rights by issuing patents & copyrights to inventors and writers to recognize their ownership of their intellectual labors (Art I, Sec 8, cl 8).
The States are to secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers, penalizing negligence, fraud, breach of contract and slander. States and local governments may, for example, impose burning bans when dry weather makes outdoor burning dangerous to your neighbor’s property. Local governments may make ordinances requiring people to maintain their properties so as not to deflate housing values.
How is the Natural Right to Liberty secured?
The federal government secures our right to liberty by laws against slavery (13th Amendment).
But primarily, the federal government secures our God-given right to liberty by obeying the Constitution. The reason our Constitution so strictly limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government is to secure our basic right to be left alone to live our own lives free from meddlesome and interfering do-gooders, tyrants, and bullies.
The States secure our right to liberty with laws against kidnapping, false imprisonment; and by prosecuting rapists, molesters, and muggers.
How is the Natural Right to Pursue our own Happiness secured?
The federal, State, and local governments secure this right by not meddling in our lives! We have the right to live our own lives free from interference as long as we do not deprive other people of their God-given rights.
How is the Natural Right to a Fair Trial secured?
The Bible requires civil governments to give fair trials to citizens and aliens alike. See, e.g., Dt. 1:16-17, Dt. 19:15-20 & Mt. 18:16; Ex 18:13-26; don’t bear false witness.
How have we outlawed the Hereditary Class System? Remember! We are all equal before the Law – we all stand on equal footing before God and are supposed to stand on equal footing in human courts. So our Framers outlawed hereditary aristocracy with its class system: Art I, Sec 9, last clause & Art I, Sec. 10, cl 1 prohibit the federal government and the States from granting Titles of Nobility.
So do you see? The only proper function of civil governments is to secure the Rights God gave us – and this is how it was to be done.
And note something else about God given rights: They don’t put us in conflict with each other. When all the civil government does is secure our God given rights – protect us from foreign invaders and domestic criminals and tortfeasers – the People can live together in peace and unity without one group of people being pitted against another.
So THIS is the gift our Framers gave us in 1787 when they drafted our Constitution. But for the last 100 years, we have been letting this gift slip thru our fingers by failing to keep the system We created within its proper boundaries.