If you were raised in America, you have certainly heard the mantra that our unalienable rights are a gift from God and thus not subject to the interference of men. Up until recently I’d never given the “god” part much consideration. But lately I have. Let me explain.
In his autobiography, Mark Twain tells a story of being a young boy in Missouri and going to church where he heard the pastor speak about the biblical righteousness of slavery.
Shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, the southern legislatures – being almost entirely comprised of Christians – voted that the former black slaves, who were now free men, could not do the ordinary things of life, such as travel, marry, work, or even hunt for food, without permission of a white man.
During the years that America was roughly 90% Christian, laws existed that said a white person and a black person could not marry. Those laws were NOT changed by the Christian majority over time. Those laws were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court – in 1967.
States with high Christian majorities passed laws criminalizing what two homosexuals would do in the privacy of their own bedroom. Again, the Christian majority didn’t change these laws – the Supreme Court struck them down.
Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore – who is what I call a “Christian extremist” – recently said, “By the time I was a senior in high school, they started to take away our rights by creating the right of privacy which led to the sexual revolution we are now experiencing.”
So…according to Judge Moore, your “right of privacy” takes away his Christian rights. Hence my use of the word “extremist”.
And of course we know the loudest voices leading the charge against homosexuals enjoying the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, were Christians.
I share this with you to explain why I now actively reject the characterization of our unalienable rights as coming from the god Roy Moore worships – or any deity.
Whenever you bring “god” into a discussion you get countless differing opinions of what that deity wants or doesn’t want – as well as how that should play out in society. You also end up with some Christians thinking it’s their place to dictate “how it’s going to be” to Americans of other religions, or no religion at all. That doesn’t sound much like a free country to me. Actually, that sounds a lot like a theocracy. You know…like Iran.
Here’s the big problem: If we accede to the idea that our unalienable rights come from a deity, then the people who claim to speak for that deity are the ones who will do everything within their power to declare what rights you have, or don’t have. We can see that clearly illustrated in the examples I gave at the beginning of this video. Sorry. No. Those people can fuck off.
Now, I’m not attacking Christians or Christianity. I have some awesome Christian friends. But I am saying out loud and boldly that my unalienable rights are mine because I say so, not because some other guy says they come from his deity of choice. That’s just silly and not where a free people should want to be.
Copyright Dave Champion 2015