You Have No Rights Without Natural Law
This is the sort of fence we are currently “taking down” in America. Since its inception, America has been surrounded and protected by a unique set of ideas that created the strongest, most prosperous, most secure and compassionate land of opportunity that has ever existed. These ideas were considered by America’s founders to be “self-evident” because they were based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (from the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence).
Generations of Americans have lived in security and freedom because our leaders have generally been faithful to the belief that nature’s God, the Creator, imbued all people with unalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The second sentence of the Declaration is all based on the assumption of what we call natural law:
Our rights as Americans are considered unalienable only because they were inherent in the natural order of life established by the laws of nature and nature’s God.
The idea of natural law, an inherent order to the universe that can provide governing principles reached by human reason, was accepted by thinkers from Plato to Thomas Aquinas to John Locke—although they each interpreted the concept differently. Natural law often informed arguments of both faith and reason even outside of a Judeo-Christian context, as shown by the ancient Roman statesman Cicero:
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh (Gen 2:24)
Taking Down the Definitions Means Anarchy
For decades, the Left in America has been deconstructing the fence of natural law. It has eliminated any acknowledgment of a creator God from schools and the public square, promoted the idea that the only sin is the belief that there is sin, redefined the nature of marriage, and now is muddling the idea that mankind has two distinct sexes that are determined before birth.
If one would do away with the distinctions of male and female, sin (or acting contrary to one’s nature), and the natural union of man and woman in marriage, one does away with natural law. If there is no natural law, then people were not created equal, nothing is self-evident, there are no unalienable rights, and governments are not instituted to protect rights: they exist to prescribe them. If there is no natural law, there is no common sense—no commonly understood truth.
As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Americans enjoy unprecedented freedom and prosperity, but because too few of us understand how and why we have these blessings, we have allowed the Left to take down the fence that protects them. Our government is already stepping over the fallen fence and infringing on free speech, freedom of association, freedom to buy and sell according to our beliefs, and the principle of democratic self-governance. In short, it is infringing on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Politicians will not rebuild the fence of natural law. It must be rebuilt by individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses, and volunteer organizations. It will only be rebuilt by We the People if we have the courage to tie our rights back to an eternal natural order.
Jim DeMint (@JimDeMint) is the president of The Heritage Foundation, He rose from modest South Carolina roots and a career in marketing to build and lead a resurgent conservative movement.
Tags: Jim DeMint, The Heritage Foundation, natural law, rights, natural law, anarchy, Bill of Rights, Cicero, Declaration of Independence, human rights, Law, liberty, marriage, philosophy, political, philosophy, sexuality, We The PeopleTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!