Though too many in today’s post-modern world deny it, the Declaration of Independence’s claim that these truths are “self-evident” is really a statement confirming the Founding Fathers’ belief in God’s general revelation, the concept that God and not the mind of man, is the source of these universal principles. And that He has revealed them generally to all people (including those who don’t acknowledge God).Those who want a purely secular nation absent of all that is Christian — those who cry “separation of church and state” at even the slightest public mention of God or Scripture — continue to do all they can to separate the Declaration from the Christian influence that shaped its message.But to separate the Declaration’s proclamation that the Creator (God) endowed each of us unalienable rights, is to make government the grantor of rights rather than the protector.
Almost every day in today’s America, we hear of governments interfering with our precious freedom of religion. We read national headlines about the federal Health and Human Services department issuing a mandate that all employers — including religious ones such as Catholic hospitals and evangelical colleges like Pennsylvania’s Geneva College — must cover contraceptives and abortion pills in their employee health plans, even in violation of their doctrines.
At the state level, a Christian photographer was fined by the state of New Mexico because her faith and conscience did not allow her to photograph a “same-sex” couple, even though she served the couple by providing references to other photographers. A rural Pennsylvania county attempted to tax the social hall of a church’s property, even though it is used for ministry. There are more examples too numerous to mention, where government is overstepping its bounds and acting as thegiver of rights, rather than the protector.
Here at the Pennsylvania Family Institute, we cherish our nation’s Founding principles, and have sought to encourage responsible citizenship and a restoration of those principles to civil government. We established the Independence Law Centerprecisely to promote and defend those “self-evident truths” recognized in the Declaration of Independence.
This Independence Day, let us all remember the limited role of governments and why they were “instituted among men.” And let’s remind our children, our neighbors and yes, even our President and other public officials that our rights come from God and not from man. And we say “thank you” to all those who support our ongoing efforts on behalf of life, liberty, marriage and the family.