Do our rights come from:
- the Constitution
- the Supreme Court, or
- the government?
Our future depends on knowing the truth. I will explain four positions — show you which one is true — and why the other three, which most people believe, are wrong, and are leading to the destruction of our country.
We begin with what is true.
The Declaration of Independence
Our Declaration says our rights come from God, thus our rights predate and pre-exist the Constitution.
Our Declaration says this:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are (1) endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That (2) to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, (3) deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
From this one paragraph, we learn three foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic:
- Our rights are unalienable and come from God.
- The purpose of Civil Government is to protect our God-given rights.
- Civil government is legitimate only when it operates with our consent.
The U.S. Constitution is the formal expression of our consent.
We the People
Thus, the federal government operates with our consent only when it obeys the Constitution.
POSITION 1. The Creator as grantor of rights
Because the Declaration identifies the Creator as the grantor of rights, we look to the Bible, or to the Natural Law, to see what those rights are. These sources reveal more rights:
- Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness
- self defense
- to inherit, earn, and keep property
- the right and duty to demand that civil authorities obey the law
- the right to live our lives free from interference from civil government
- the right to worship God
The distinguishing characteristic of all God-given, or Natural rights, is this:
- Each right may be held and enjoyed at no cost or expense to anyone else. Our God-given rights do not put us in conflict with each other.
- We may look them up for ourselves. They are not subject to someone else’s interpretation.
POSITION 2. Many believe that our rights come from amendments to the Constitution
So, they speak of:
- our “constitutional rights”, or
- “first amendment right to free speech” or
- “second amendment right to bear arms.”
From time to time, they clamor to have additional rights added to the Constitution, such as:
- “the equal rights amendment” or
- “the parental rights amendment”
BUT IT IS A DREADFUL MISTAKE TO THINK THAT OUR RIGHTS COME FROM THE CONSTITUTION. I will show you two reasons why this is a pernicious error.
Reason 1 why our rights don’t come from the Constitution: it is logically incoherent.
The Preamble to the Constitution says:
We the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States…
“We the People ordained and established this Constitution”—we are the ones who created the federal government, with its three branches—legislative, executive, judicial—we gave the federal government permission to exist, and told it exactly what it may do, when we assigned a few enumerated powers to each branch.
We are the creator. The federal government is merely our creature. And “creature” isn’t my word, it’s Alexander Hamilton’s word. He uses that precise word when he describes the federal government’s relation to us. “It is our creature.” (ref.)
- The Constitution is about the specific powers which We the People delegate to the federal government.
- IT IS NOT ABOUT OUR RIGHTS, which come from God, and thus predate and pre-exist the Constitution.
Reason 2 why our rights don’t come from the Constitution:
Here is the second reason why it is a grievous error to say our rights come from the Constitution. Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution states:
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases…arising under this Constitution…
Listen carefully: if our rights come from the Constitution, that clause—Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1—is what gives the federal judges power over our rights, because they arise under the Constitution.
We must correct our thinking, and stop babbling about our “Constitutional rights.”
When judges have power to adjudicate our rights, our rights are no longer unalienable.
We hold them at the pleasure of FIVE JUDGES ON THE SUPREME COURT.
I will show you how they have perverted the First Amendment. Let’s look at exactly what it says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT DOESN’T GRANT ANY RIGHTS TO ANYBODY. All it does is prohibit Congress from making laws restricting these activities.
Note also that the First Amendment restricts only Congress. It does not address states. States may establish any religion they want. And of course states may restrict speech. Traditionally, states have always done so—with laws against slander, libel, fraud, obscenity, incitement to violence, shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.
But federal judges treat the First Amendment as the source of our rights to free speech. Since it arises under the Constitution, they claim judicial power over it. And thus, power to decide what speech is protected under the First Amendment and what speech is not protected. And if they decide it is not protected, you can’t say it.
- They claim power under the First Amendment to regulate corporate political speech.
- They claim power under the First Amendment to force us to take down postings of the Ten Commandments.
- They forbid children to pray in public schools.
- They claim power under the first Amendment to overturn state laws, which properly restrict speech.
In the Westboro Baptist case, the father of an American soldier who was killed in action sued the Westboro people on tort theories of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, as permitted by the law of the state in which the funeral took place.
But eight judges on the Supreme Court ignored the state laws and held that the Westboro people had a First Amendment right to stand on the street corners at funerals of American soldiers waving signs saying “Thank God for IEDs.” “Thank God for dead soldiers.” “God hates fags.”
That is protected speech, you see. So is porn. Oh yes. Pornographers have a First Amendment right to diseminate porn. So, state laws outlawing porn also bite the dust.
But posting the Ten Commandments is not protected speech. Neither is praying in public schools. Since it is not protected speech, they ban it.
Do you see how perverted their rulings are? Do you see how they undermine the moral order?
When we babble about constitutional rights, when we clamor to have new rights added to the Constitution, we are submitting our rights to the tender mercies of federal judges. Because Article 3, Section 2, clause 1 gives them power over all cases arising under this Constitution.
This is why we must always insist that our rights have a source — Almighty God, which transcends the Constitution.
And think — why would the creator of the Constitution — that’s us — grant to our creature — the Judicial branch of the federal government — the power to determine the scope and extent of our rights? IT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.
You ask — why did the framers add the first ten amendments if they were such a bad idea?
There was controversy over this. Alexander Hamilton warned that bills of rights were dangerous because they grant a pretext for regulating for those inclined to usurp. And he was right! The first ten amendments have given the Supreme Court a pretext for usurping power over our rights, as well as over state laws which restrict speech which five people on the Supreme Court want to legalize.
But Hamilton’s warnings were ignored, and the first ten amendments added because some states refused to ratify the Constitution without them.
So, the proper way to look at the first ten amendments is this — they are not the source of our rights, since our rights come from God, and thus transcend the Constitution. They are merely a partial list of some things the federal government may not do:
- they may not take our guns
- they may not ban public expressions of the Christian faith
- and they may not restrict our speech.
And, some things they must do:
- they must grant an accused person a fair trial in that limited category of criminal cases over which the federal government has jurisdiction.
POSITION 3: Supreme Court as grantor of rights
Here is the Third position: judges on the Supreme Court have claimed, in recent decades, that the source of our rights is the Constitution, as such rights are discovered and defined from time to time, by them.
(end of video 1)
This is how they did it. The original intent of the 14th Amendment was to protect freed slaves from southern Black Codes which denied them basic rights of citizenship. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads, in part:
…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…
The original meaning of this clause is that states couldn’t take life, liberty or property away from freed slaves except pursuant to the judgement of their peers, after a third trial where they could appear, cross examine witnesses, and put on a defense.
And by the way, this original intent of the 14th Amendment is proved by means of thousands of quotes from the Congressional Record, by Professor Raoul Berger in his book Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the 14th Amendment, and this is online.
But judges on the Supreme Court now use the 14th Amendment to fabricate new “rights”, which negate rights God gave us, and undermine the moral order.
In 1973, in Roe v. Wade, seven people on the Supreme Court looked over the word “liberty”, and found another word, “privacy”, and “privacy”, they said, means “women may kill their unborn babies.”
See, it’s right there. “Liberty” and then “privacy” and then “women can kill their unborn babies.” Yes, they found in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment a Constitutional right to kill unborn babies.
In 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, six judges on the Supreme Court looked at that same clause and found in the word “liberty” a constitutional right to engage in gay sex. We will soon find out how many judges on the Supreme Court find in the same clause a right to marry persons of the same sex.
And while they eliminate human babies’ God-given rights to life, and our rights to Liberty and Property by forcing us to participate in unconstitutional programs and submit to unconstitutional laws and regulations, they purport to create new rights:
- the “right” to kill babies
- the “right” to homosexual contact and perhaps marriage
- the “right” to dissemninate porn
- the “right” to spew hate and filth at the funerals of American heroes
And by the way, all these issues — abortion, homosexuality, marriage and speech — are issues reserved to the States or the People. These are not among the enumerated powers granted to any branch of the federal government.
When we substitute judges for God as the source of our rights, the entire concept of rights is perverted, literally.
Judges have redefined the word “Liberty”:
- from its original meaning of freedom from unlawful coercion from civil government
- to freedom from the moral laws.
Here is the fourth position:
POSITION 4: The liberals and the progressives say our rights come from government.
They say a “right” is an entitlement to goods or services produced or paid for by someone else. So, they speak of
- the “right” to medical care,
- the “right” to a free public school education,
- the “right” to housing,
- the “right” to food stamps.
And thus, with the federal government’s establishment of hundreds of welfare and entitlement programs, grants, and subsidies, they have created a purported “right” to live at other peoples’ expense.
This fourth view of rights is what has set us at each other’s throats. Everyone who has his hand out is clamoring to have other people pay more. Our national motto was once “In God We Trust.” Today, it is “take it from someone else and give it to me.”
It is a contradiction in terms to speak of rights to stuff that is produced or paid for by other people. That is because it undermines our God-given rights to private property, to the fruits of our own labors, and to Liberty. To hold that people may be plundered by civil government for the ostensible benefit of others is slavery. NO ONE has the right to live at other peoples’ expense.
What must we do?
As a people, we have stopped thinking. We uncritically accept whatever we hear on the radio and TV. Even when what is said contradicts the plain words of the Declaration and the Constitution.
The Supreme Court’s 1st and 14th Amendment jurisprudence perverts the plain meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the 1st and 14th Amendments.
We must become like the child in the story The Emperor Has No Clothes.
When people, no matter who they are, say things which contradict the Declaration and the Constitution, challenge them.
But before we can challenge them we must learn.
Become familiar with the Declaration and the Constitution. These are amazing documents, jewels of Western Civilization. You do not have to be a lawyer to have a working knowledge of them.
Look things up in the Federalist Papers. It’s fun! When I first looked up the original intent of the Interstate Commerce Clause in the Federalist Papers — it only took a few minutes to find Madison’s and Hamilton’s papers on this — and within twenty minutes, I knew!
I now knew more about the Interstate Commerce Clause than any federal judge in the country! Because we all learned in law school that the Interstate Commerce Clause means whatever the Supreme Court has said it means in its last opinion.
Then we can speak the truth.
Perhaps we can turn back the tide of ignorance and evil which is taking over our country. Thank you.
If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is… Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 33