The founders also affirmed the equality of men. They wrote that all men are created equal. Notice that the source of man’s equality was not, nor is it, government. The source of man’s equality is God, the Creator, not the government!
God likewise was seen as the source of certain unalienable rights. The founders understood that all men naturally possessed three fundamental rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are among the basic human rights given by God. These rights do not come from government. Yet, God has ordained governments to guard these rights. (Romans 13)
The first unalienable right is life which is given by God. Government oversteps its bounds when it seeks to grant or take away life. God has given the right to life. Human life is sacred and the harshest penalty is rightly levied upon one who murders another.
The late Francis Schaeffer said that the future of our western culture would be determined by our view of human life. How are we doing? You decide.
Liberty is defined as the right to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing. God gave Adam the freedom to choose. Adam chose poorly and disobeyed God. The result of his disobedience was the Fall. As a result all men inherit the consequence of Adam’s sin. Every inclination of man’s heart is only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Nevertheless, we are free to choose what we want. We also bear the consequences of our choices.
Liberty is a treasured possession. Like the right to life, liberty was designed by our founders to be guarded by government. Like life, government is not the source of liberty. Liberty is guarded by the rule of law such that one man’s exercise of freedom does not take away another’s liberty.