Guest Commentary / September 28, 2021

The Single Biggest Problem Facing America Today: Part III

Without God, you don’t have unalienable rights, and without unalienable rights, you don’t have the United States of America.

By Larry Craig

We have been saying in these articles that if we don’t know what America is, what kind of country we were founded to be, we will gradually change into something else. Most of us won’t even know it, but America will be gone, just as if we had been taken over by a foreign country.

If I had to describe what America is in one sentence, it would be this: God has given unalienable rights to human beings.

But what does this all mean?

The first thing this means is that we are not a secular country. I think different people would define what a secular country is differently, but the current version that our country has bought into is that it is unconstitutional for our country to favor one religion over another, or even to favor theism over atheism. Our government must be neutral to all religions, meaning that each one has the same value as another, or essentially no value at all in how our country is run. If you can’t invoke one, then you can’t invoke another.

Supposedly this is based on the First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

What people are forgetting is at that time in Europe, they had and still have today state churches. The Queen of England is head of the Church of England. A king or queen could personally not have any belief in God at all, and yet they would still be head of a church by virtue of their position. Our Founders did not want the government running the Church or the Church running the government.

What people are forgetting is that a religion is a worldview. Everybody has a worldview; nations have worldviews. For all of world history, nations all had a religious worldview. If not explicitly, then implicitly. Now, in the last century, with the rise of communism, we have countries whose worldview explicitly does not include a god. There are people in our country who say that we were founded as a secular nation, and thus we are and should be one today.

The problem with that is our nation was built on the belief that God did something that affects every human being. Without that, we don’t have our country.

This secularism in our country today stems from several decisions of that court called supreme that removed prayer and Bible reading from our nation’s public schools.

Except that prayer and Bible reading in public schools have been the practice even before our nation officially became a nation. If this was indeed unconstitutional, then the Founders would have seen that this ended in their generation. It would not have taken almost 200 years for the practice to be deemed forbidden by our Constitution. They knew what they meant by the First Amendment better than we do and whether it had prohibited prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. Why would the First Congress establish the office of chaplain in Congress and open their daily business with prayer if prayer was forbidden in the government and the public square?

But the bigger question is: How can we teach our children and the millions of immigrants who come here every year the principles of our nation without mentioning God?

If we don’t recognize the role of God in the founding of our nation, then the very idea of unalienable rights will change.

Unalienable rights are rights that precede and supersede government. Government did not give them, and government cannot take them away.

But if we don’t recognize these rights as having come from God, then they must have come from the government or the consensus of the people. The government is now the highest authority.

Our Founders debated whether to include an enumerating of these unalienable rights in the Constitution, because they were afraid that people would come to think that these rights came from man and not God, hence they would be subject to change or restrictions. They finally settled on including some of these rights as the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution.

But it needs to be asked what God we are talking about. How would the Founders know that God gave these unalienable rights to human beings?

The Declaration of Independence says that the Founders deemed these rights to be self-evident. Some have concluded by this that the Founders were deists, that these rights were merely natural law. The problem with that is a deist god wouldn’t give rights to human beings, let alone inform them that it had.

And I can’t imagine a nation would go to war with the world’s superpower over the musings of its philosophers.

Generally, we speak of God as a belief. The Founders spoke of God as a fact. And without God, you don’t have unalienable rights, and without unalienable rights, you don’t have the United States of America.

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