By Olivia Murray
Published: December 9, 2021 Noon EST
(2 minute read)
During the harsh winter in December of 1776, General Washington and his small army were retreating back from the east and into Pennsylvania. They were hungry, cold, and so lacking in necessities that many men were barefoot. But why were they there?
Because just five and a half months earlier, the Declaration of Independence had been signed. They believed in those self-evident truths so much, they were willing to die for them. So what did that document say?
All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
John 15:13 tells us this, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” These men were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in war, so that others might freely live in peace. Although on a much smaller scale, the men of the Continental Army were exemplifying the same great love as Jesus.
Now, 245 years after the signing of the Declaration, the American government has all but abandoned its founding truths. Legal abortion up through birth, establishments only accessible to those who have participated in clinical trials of a new drug, and a monopoly on theft and violence.
Throughout history, the most notorious violators of God-given rights have always been governments. Their sole purpose for existence is to preserve natural law, guaranteeing the unalienable rights; when they abdicate that role, they become oppressive.
In a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
Being human bestows upon a person sacred value. Because human life is so precious, denying a human being the right to Life, Liberty, or the pursuit of Happiness is an egregious offense.
Benjamin Franklin rightly noted, “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
God is the giver of rights, not government.