Self-evident Truths: Who Decides?

“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.”

United States of America Declaration of Independence

Listening to the political wrangling of our day, it seems “self-evident” that the debate is not rooted in political ideas, but in spiritual truths.  In every political debate, the ultimate question is, “Who decides?” In this case, who decides what rights we have.  Our founders, though not all Christians, certainly agreed that there was a Creator, and that this Creator was the source of man’s existence, his dignity, and his rights. The idea that all men are created equal is not meant to imply that all men are created the same, nor that they will all have an equality of situation when they enter the world.  What they do have is an equal standing before God.  None is better or more valuable than the next. Each one comes into the world with a set of rights given to him by his Creator. His worth and his rights are the gifts of God he must use to advance his state.

Two grand implications flow from the idea that we are all created.  First, we all have the inherent nature of God reflected in us, but we also have the fallen nature of our human ancestor, Adam.  The one brings us equal dignity and worth, the other makes us inherently dangerous. Both things must be accounted for in any practical form of government.  The second implication is that the Creator gets the privilege of establishing the rules. in this case what rights accrue to the created. Without that, you get what we now have: the crazy and dangerous idea that rights are granted by government. That is the fount from which the lunacy of the left flows. It is the root of all tyranny. It is dangerous. The arguments of the founders are meaningless if the people are Godless.  If God doesn’t decide, then who does?

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