Marco Rubio recently stated that rights do not come from governments or politicians.
Rights, he said, come from God. So there’s no other alternative? A lot of conservatives, including Ted Cruz, say the same thing. But if rights come from God, then how do we justify rights in the worldly realm where governments operate?
When you say rights come from God, you’re essentially saying, “Rights exist because I say so. Rights exist because I have faith that God wants it that way.” But doesn’t something this important require more proof than just blind faith?
We’re talking about governments here. If we make rights conditional on God, then we set the stage for entirely faith-based means for defining rights. Even religious people agree that faith is often a matter of opinion and, by definition, not subject to proof.
That’s fine for church, but when you mix faith with government, you get disaster; no less than with socialism.
In fact, if you think about it, leftism is a form of religion. Its adherents believe in unproven tenets such as the pseudo-science of environmentalism, or the opinion that man must be his brother’s keeper. And they insist that government impose this ideology as the law of the land.
Governments should be religion-neutral. They should not endorse any particular form of religion, any more than they should endorse atheism, agnosticism, or the worship of trees and butterflies.
The only function of government is to uphold rights, which means to protect the individual against force or fraud.
People can agree or disagree on whether there’s a God.
However, to live civilly and under freedom, we all have to agree that rights are inherent to man’s nature. In order to survive, human beings must be free to think, plan and reason for themselves.
You can agree or deny that God made us this way, but the fact remains: Our basic survival requires that we all need to think and reason. That’s why government should be limited. Government should get out of the way of any and all aspects of our lives, except when protecting us from the actions of criminals.
Conservatives wonder why they keep losing to the leftists. It’s because conservatives justify capitalism, individual rights and private property with faith. “God says it’s true!” This makes it easier for leftists to argue, “We have science, reason and logic on our side.” Conservatives apologize for human nature by saying, “Socialism may be ideal, but human nature requires capitalism.”
That’s not so.
Capitalism is great because it enables the best and the brightest to lift everyone out of poverty and because under capitalism, individuals are free to think and reason. Prayer and faith do not create comfort and material wealth.
Reason gives life to capitalism, not faith. History proves the economic superiority of capitalism; the challenge is to prove that it’s also morally superior.
What about religious liberty? Faith-based people do not need special religious liberties.
If their individual rights are protected, then they’re covered. If you’re a Christian baker and wish to turn away same-sex couples’ wedding cakes, you have every right to do so.
When asserting this in court, you should defend your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not religious liberty. In the same way that the consenting adult relationships of those same-sex couples is none of your business, how you run your business is none of theirs.
Do rights come from politicians? No way. But rights don’t come from God, either. If you believe in God, then God made you. But it’s your nature as a human being that justifies your right to live your life as you see fit.
Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D., LCSW is a psychotherapist and author with a private practice in coastal Delaware. He is the author of “Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (and How to Tell the Difference).” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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