The Origin of Rights and the Purpose of Government

Where do rights come from? What is the purpose of government? Where does the government get its powers?

Thomas Jefferson answered these questions in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Clearly, rights come from God (or nature, if you don’t believe in God.) God grants them; not government. Therefore, government cannot take away your natural rights. You have the right to life, liberty, and property. No one can take these rights from you. Our rights are not limited to what is listed in the Bill of Rights. These rights were listed solely because our Founders wanted more insurance that our government would know it’s place. They made this clear with the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The purpose of government is to secure these rights. Basically, the sole purpose of government is to protect your rights by ensuring that no one is able to harm you or take your property without redress. (This includes fraud as well.)

The government gets its powers strictly from the people. Meaning, the only powers that the government has is the powers that we grant it. The government basically acts as your agent in order to protect your rights. The powers granted to our government, ie enumerated powers, are explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, under Article 1 Section 8. These are the only powers our government legally may utilize. Any other actions taken by our government are done without our consent, and therefore illegal. The Tenth Amendment was included in order to cement this fact. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Liberals want you to believe that the Constitution is just an old, out-dated piece of paper. But the ideas behind the Constitution and our nation’s founding are ageless. These ideas are the fabric of our existence. Do not let them be discounted or disparaged.


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