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Do you like having rights the government cannot take away? Do you like being equal? Do you like a country with few laws? These ideas have origins.
To have individual rights the government cannot take away, rights must come from a power "higher" than government. The Declaration states "all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men." In other words, rights come from God and government's job is to protect your rights.
In his Inaugural Address, 1961, President John F. Kennedy put it this way:
"The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God."
But if there is no God, where can the rights come from except from the "generosity of the State." The State, then, becomes the new god. And what the State "giveth," the State can "taketh awayeth."
This was espoused by German philosopher Hegel, who influenced Marx and Hitler. Hegel did not believe in the existence of God and thought the closest anyone could come to attaining "eternal life" was to create a government that would exist after their death. Thus Communism teaches that citizens exist for State's benefit. Without God, government transitions from being our servant to our master. President Harry S Truman addressed the Attorney General's Conference, 1950:
"The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount...If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!"
President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924: "It seems... perfectly plain that...the right to equality...has for its foundation reverence for God. If we could imagine that swept away...our American government could not long survive." The concept of all citizens being equal before the law, having an equal vote in elections, is based on equality before a Supreme Being.
Harry S Truman stated in his Inaugural Address, 1949: "We believe that all men are created equal, because they are created in the image of God." But if there is no God - then men are not only not "created," they are not "equal," as Darwin espoused, some are more evolved than others.
In his "Descent of Man," Darwin referred to Africans and Aboriginal Australians as "savages" and stated:
"Civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world...The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."
This influenced Margaret Sanger, who, prior to World War II, founded Planned Parenthood and hired Nazi Party member Ernst Rudin as her advisor. In her book "Pivot of Civilization" (1922), she called for "The elimination of 'human weeds'...overrunning the human garden;...for the cessation of 'charity' because it prolonged the lives of the unfit; for the segregation of 'morons, misfits, and the maladjusted'; and for the sterilization of genetically inferior races." Sanger influenced Hitler to consider the German, or "Aryan," race as "ubermensch," supermen, being more advanced in the supposed progress of human evolution. This resulted in their perverted effort to rid the "human gene pool" of "untermensch" - races considered less evolved, through the gas chambers. Stalin followed this example, exterminating 25 million "inferior" Ukrainians.
The potential consequences are firghtful if we chose to depart from President Truman's belief, "that all men are created equal because we are created in the image of God."
President John Adams stated in a letter to the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, October 11, 1798:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
In other words, our government was designed to govern people who could govern themselves. We could get by with few laws if people had an internal law.
British Statesman Edmund Burke stated in "A Letter to a Member of the National Assembly," 1791:
"What is liberty without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils...it is madness without restraint. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites...Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without."
Robert Winthrop, U.S. Speaker of the House in 1849, stated:
"All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man."
To be a country with "few laws," citizens must have internal laws for there to be order, but internal laws are powerless without a consequence, such as being held accountable to a Supreme Being in some future state.
Benjamin Franklin wrote to Yale President Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790:
"The soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its conduct in this."
Daniel Webster, Secretary of State for three U.S. Presidents, was once asked what the greatest thought was that ever passed through his mind. He replied "My accountability to God." The idea of an oath was to call a higher power to hold you accountable to perform what you said you would. This accountability is expressed in all three branches of government: President's oath of office: "So Help Me God"; Congressmen and Senators' oath: "So Help Me God," and witnesses' oath in court to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - "So Help Me God."
It was known that witnesses or politicians would have opportunities to twist the truth or do dirty, backroom deals for their own benefit and never get caught. It was reasoned, though, that if a witness or politician believed God existed and was watching, that person would hesitate when presented with the temptation. They would have a conscience. They would think "even if I get away with this unscrupulous action in this life, I will still be accountable to God in the next."
But if that person did not believe in God and in a future state of rewards and punishments, when presented with the same temptation to do wrong and not get caught, they would give in. In fact, if there is no God and this life is all there is, they would be a fool not to.
This is what President Reagan referred to in 1984: "Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience."
William Linn, elected unanimously as the first Chaplain of the U.S. House, May 1, 1789, stated: "Let my neighbor once persuade himself that there is no God, and he will soon pick my pocket, and break not only my leg but my neck. If there be no God, there is no law, no future account; government then is the ordinance of man only, and we cannot be subject for conscience sake." Linn's observation was demonstrated when, after 80 years of atheism, the countries of the former Soviet Union were given liberty - the result was organized crime and the black market took control.
From Bill Clinton to Enron, we see where absence of an internal law will take our country - crimes are only wrong if one gets caught. Unfortunately, the less internal moral code we have as a nation results in the government having to pass more external legal codes to keep order - and each new law takes away another little piece of our freedom.
IMPORTANCE TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
President Calvin Coolidge, unveiling to the Equestrian Statue of Bishop Francis Asbury, Washington, D.C., October 15, 1924, stated:
"Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive
our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government."
Clarence E. Manion, Professor of Constitutional Law and dean of the Notre Dame College of Law, was quoted in Verne Paul Kaub's book, "Collectivism Challenges Christianity," 1946:
"Look closely at these self-evident truths, these imperishable articles of American Faith upon which all our government is firmly based. First and foremost is the existence of God. Next comes the truth that all men are equal in the sight of God. Third is the fact of God's great gift of unalienable rights to every person on earth. Then follows the true and single purpose of all American Government, namely, to preserve and protect these God-made rights of God-made man."
President Ronald Reagan summed it up, August 23, 1984: "Without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure.... If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under."