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OPINION

No God, No Rights

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alberto Mariani

When Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech on the 50th anniversary of “Roe v. Wade” about a week ago, she infamously left out the Creator---when talking about our rights. One wag told me, “Hey, at least Kamala didn’t say, we ‘are created by … you know, the thing,’” as did her boss on the campaign trail.

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She also left out the “right to life.” But does this oversight matter? I addressed her “right to life” omission in a previous piece, but what about leaving out the Creator? Who cares?

We all should. The essence of America is self-rule under God. Leave out either part, and we end up with tyranny. Without God as the secure source of our rights, from whence come those rights?

Thomas Jefferson said, and you can see this quote in the Jefferson Memorial: “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Why does God matter? The late Clay Christensen was a Harvard Business professor who hosted a 90-second video segment that brilliantly shows why He matters.

Christensen says that ultimately we must choose between internal versus external restraint. In explaining to a visiting student from China how religion benefits American society by bolstering morality, Christensen makes the point that we can’t hire enough police to make people good. But democracy has greatly benefited through the internal restraints that religion provides. 

William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, would concur. He once noted, “If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.”  

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Within a few years of America’s revolt against British rule, the French had their revolution. Some like to compare the American with the French Revolution. They were totally different because of the God factor. The American Revolution was pro-God. The French Revolution was anti-God. That is the difference in a nutshell.

For the documentaries in my Foundation of American Liberty series for Providence Forum, I had the privilege to interview Dennis Prager, the founder of PragerU. At one point in the interview, he contrasted these two turbulent events.

He told me, “The American Revolution and French Revolution is the battle in the United States.  Which revolution will prevail? ... They loathe the idea of God in the French Revolution; the secular republic was the ideal. In America, they believed in secular government, but in a God-based society, because rights come from God in America. And you can only have liberty if you have God.”

Prager pointed out that this was not a “faith statement” so much as a “logical” one: “People will either feel accountable for their behavior to God or the state. Those are your two choices. It is an absurdity to believe they’ll be good if they’re accountable only to themselves. If you’re only accountable to yourself, you will always justify what you do.” 

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And so he concludes, “God is the ultimate issue.”  

Take the issue of the value of human life. When you remove God from the equation, life becomes cheap. Because we’re made in the image of God, human life has value.

Human beings are different than the animals, says the Bible. Recently I read portions of a great book, The Death of Humanity: And The Case For Life” by history professor Dr. Richard Weikart, who wrote the classic book, From Darwin to Hitler.

Dr. Weikart writes, “Western society is in deep trouble today. Once we identify some segments of humanity as ‘life unworthy of life’ or ‘sub-human,’ to use phrases commonly used before and during the Nazi period, we have jettisoned any basis for valuing humans as humans. We have effectively undermined all human rights, because now we can decide which humans have rights and which do not.”

In contrast, the founders of America said in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are the right to life.” The first right they listed is the right to life.

In the Declaration, the signers mention God four times, including their appeal “to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions,” referring to Jesus, whom God, the Bible says, has appointed to judge us all one day. 

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But if there’s no Creator, as some politicians seem to think, why should there be any human right? As retired Congressman Ron Paul once noted, "There is only one kind of freedom and that's individual liberty. Our lives come from our creator and our liberty comes from our creator. It has nothing to do with government granting it."

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of the Providence Forum, an outreach of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air contributor. He has written/co-written 33 books, including George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.). www.djkm.org     @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

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