TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, March 04, 2004
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Rights: from God or the law?

Ezra Hood
is a junior music composition major from Fort Worth.

I don’t know what’s in the water at the University of Alabama, but Dan Whisenhunt’s column that ran in the Skiff Feb. 19 about the conservative religious right would be good evidence for contamination. Dan writes for the “Crimson White,” which may give a hint of the confusion on that campus — it is crimson or is it white? How on God’s green earth could it be both?

Whisenhunt, a well-meaning sceptic, cannot see one of the most basic principles of the democracy he loves. Dan actually said “secularism is not an evil conspiracy. It is a necessary attitude that public officials must assume so they can serve every citizen, not just followers of Jesus Christ.”

Whisenhunt, if people are not equal in the eyes of God, how else can they be equal? Certainly we are not all born into equal privilege or equal poverty; our various abilities and handicaps are just that — various. You see, the most important measure by which everyone is equal is the religious rule of responsibility and dependence on God. Without this principle holding up our democracy, our claim of equality falls on deaf ears. Almost every other rule is certain to find men grossly unequal. Thomas Jefferson found that the equal rights of man originate in God, “men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights …”

Our rights and equality before the law do not begin in the Constitution, despite Dan Whisenhunt’s poorly-contrived plea to keep Jesus out of the law.

Many of the founding fathers excluded the Bill of Rights from the Constitution precisely because they knew that unintelligent people in later centuries would think that a government can grant its people rights. Such a person might say, “the government guaranteed me my liberties and equality in the Bill of Rights, right?”

I entirely disagree. God — and only God — gives us our rights, not politicians or crumbly parchments. Any attempt to separate our rights from God leads toward the loss of our rights.

The French tried exactly this in the 1790s, and rights-deprived heads rolled like jelly-beans for a decade. History has repeated itself numerous times since.

In missing the truth about rights and God, we lose sight of the source of those rights; religious or not, our rights either come from God or turn to nothing.

If you want to argue for any man’s rights, Mr. Whisenhunt, you’d better find God in your argument, or you will lose the right and the argument.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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