- Declaration of Independence, 1776
According the Declaration of Independence, the primary, legitimate purpose of government is to secure our rights. That begs the question: What is a right? The
Democrats tell us that rights are things like abortion, a guaranteed job, or a free cell phone, but that’s impossible since the government doesn’t give out rights, it dispenses goodies. A right is something you deserve merely by being a unique creation of God (See Declaration of Independence above). It is part and parcel of your humanity. In other words, if we are breathing air and have a pulse, we have rights – human rights or natural rights as they are sometimes called. Recognition of these human rights is a recognition of our unique and special status in a world of created creatures. The one thing that separates many conservatives from atheists and leftists, philosophically, is this recognition. Atheists and leftists don’t recognize mankind’s unique place in God’s creation, and therefore reject any notion that mankind is superior to any other plant or animal. This is why they see no contradiction in laws that protect endangered plant and animal species, yet allow killing of unborn humans. Conservatives, on the other hand, recognize that mankind was created to have dominion over all other creatures, and that his natural state is freedom. For much of history, however, freedom has been the exception, not the rule. Apart from America’s 200+ years of history, there are few examples where mankind has been free to enjoy his natural God-given rights, unbridled from despotism, dictatorship, and tyranny.
We are a self-governing nation. That is “we the people” govern ourselves through the system of government the Founders gave us. That’s the good news. The bad news? According to John Adams, our Constitution was made for a moral people, and won’t work for any other kind. Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
When “we the people” becomes “we the immoral,”then we get the intrusive government we deserve because we don’t have the self-discipline to restrain ourselves from bad behavior. We get Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Janet Napolitano, and Kathleen Sebelius running our lives. They spy on us, they monitor everything we do and say, they search us without our permission when we travel, they tell us how much of our money we can keep, they tell us how to raise our children and what they will learn, they tell us what we can eat, they determine the quality of health care we have, and they mandate how we run our businesses.
The Declaration states that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. How did we consent to give them this much control over our lives? Part of the answer is in Ben Franklin’s quote above. We are so corrupt, we have need of masters, and unfortunately the masters we have chosen are more corrupt than we are. The other answer is that we have ignored why we are supposed to have government in the first place. For over 200 years, we have forgotten what the Founders wrote about the purpose of government in the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose is not to control us and keep our elected officials in power, although that is exactly what it has become in practice. The purpose of government should always be to secure our rights! Government is not to be an agent of control over our lives. Instead, government is to be a defender of our rights- a defender of the way of life we have chosen for ourselves, and to assure that nobody interferes with it. In order to do this, the government, by definition of its purpose, must exercise as little interference as possible with its citizens. Instead, it must protect us from others who would interfere with the exercise of our rights. Read that loud and clear. The only legitimate purpose of government is to secure the rights that you already have as a free-willed creation of God. All other purposes of government are illegitimate! If we want to be free, we must repent and return to the only legitimate purpose of government, to the exclusion of all other duties we have asked it to perform. We have no choice but to pursue this course, because abandoning this choice leaves us $16 trillion in debt with no future, devoid of a moral compass, and tyranny on the doorstep.