“Going to the Root of the Matter” American Sentinel 11, 8, p. 59.

REFERRING to the so-called Christian amendment, the Truth Seeker, of this city, says:—

Freethinkers go to the root of the matter by refusing to admit the existence of the being the Christians describe as God; by denying that civil government has any other source than the people who establish it, and by opposing all religious legislation as a fraud, a usurpation, and a tyranny. This ground is perfectly tenable under the Constitution and it is the only refuge from the tide of religious fanaticism and political hypocrisy that is floating the theocrats on the Washington.

This is a mistake. It is much easier to go to the root of the matter while acknowledging the being of God, and that rights have a higher source than the will of the people. “There is no power but of God,” and “the powers that be are ordained of God.” But, as we have many times show, as God has ordained these powers, so he has limited them, and in this fact is our only security.

The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, an avowed liberal, recognizes both the being of God, and that he is the author of rights, and consequently of government. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” wrote Jefferson, “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” These words recognize the Creator and the divine origin of rights. If civil government had no other source than the people, then there could be no rights superior to the will of the people; and the pagan motto, “Whatever is, is right,” would be true in government as in everything else. But the Declaration of Independence distinctly affirms the divine origin of human rights and makes those rights superior to human government, because they are God-given.

Government is ordained of God to be “a terror to evil-doers and a praise to them that do well.” He has, therefore, ordained no invasion of the rights which he himself gave, and whatever liberty freethinkers enjoy to-day is due to the recognition by their fellowmen of the fact that they, equally with other men, are by their Creator endowed with certain unalienable rights; consequently they and they only go to the root of this matter who recognize God as the Creator, and who, acknowledging his right to command them, maintain their God-given right to worship him according to the dictates of their own consciences, and who also consistently maintain that every other man has the same God-given right not to worship if he so elects.

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