Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Losing our soul: The loss of God-given for government granted

Security or Tyranny? Are We Now a People With Government Granted Rather Than God-Given Rights?

Here are excerpts from my article, which is the cover feature for December's issue of The Blaze magazine.

George Orwell could have been a prophet.

On Aug. 16, Brandon Raub, a 26-year-old decorated Marine who served as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sitting in his Richmond, Va., home. Out of the blue, law enforcement knocked.

“He was in his underwear, in his living room, he sees a group of [Chesterfield County] police, FBI agents walking up, he talks with them, he’s asked about some Facebook postings, they handcuff him,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil-rights law firm.

His crime? Officially—nothing.

If only Raub were an anomaly. Two thousand miles away, in Scottsdale, Ariz., all seven members of the city council approved taxpayer money on a new police station—while, at the same time, refusing to disclose the location of the facility. Why?

Kelly Corsette, communications and public affairs director for the city, said in a July e-mail: “A substantial number of police undercover personnel will work out of this building. Therefore, in the interest of the safety of our officers and the integrity of future undercover investigations, the city will not disclose its precise location.”

Interestingly, the building spans 17,827 square feet. In other words, it’s large enough that most residents of the community already know its location—but the point is the principle. As Dan Barr, a Phoenix attorney who does work for the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said, the CIA building isn’t hidden from public view. If the CIA doesn’t need to conceal its facility for safety and security reasons, why would a local Scottsdale police force? The message from government to citizens would seem clear: Shut up and pay.

The Founding Fathers would not be pleased.

Remember Benjamin Franklin, who said that “security without liberty is called prison,” as well as, “they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Or Patrick Henry, who said the “liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” Or Jefferson, in his “Notes on the State of Virginia”: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?”

Henry could have been speaking his words directly to Scottsdale’s city council. But it’s that latter from Jefferson that’s perhaps most alarming for America, circa 2012. If our nation has lost its belief in God as the overall provider and has instead inserted government into that role, then the final frontier of American freedom is truly crumbling.

At stake is the very essence of our society, the very soul of our nation—the notion that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights; the notion that government is instituted among the people only to secure these God-given rights, nothing more, nothing less, and certainly, only with the consent of the people.

Are we still this nation -- or have we moved too far from this ideal? What's happened to God-given?

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