Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Delegation of Rights

                The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns delegation of rights.  Our Declaration of Independence declares that human beings have certain unalienable rights that come directly from God and not from any government.  Some of these rights are life, liberty, and the “pursuit of happiness” that has been defined as the right to own property.  This means that we have rights; therefore, we can delegate the same rights to the government. 

                President Ezra Taft Benson explained:  “Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish a goal?  If I do have such a right (to defend one’s self), then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf.  If I do not have that right (take one’s property) as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.”  (“The Proper Role of Government”) 

                We have the right to defend ourselves; therefore, we can delegate that right to the government.  Since we do not have the right to take our neighbor’s property, the government does not have the right to redistribute wealth.  The only reason the government can take away our rights is if we abuse them.  The government can tax citizens for money to run the government, but this does not give the government the right to take our money to give it to other people.  Capital punishment is when the government takes the life of someone who has killed someone else.

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