God Gave Us Nothing
Article by Joseph A. Zuchowski
My rant today is about the phrase, "Our God given rights." and why I feel it demeans the struggles we have as a nation gone through to secure those fragile things. To the best of my knowledge, none of the founders ascended some mountain top, or went out into the wilderness had a divine encounter and return with a divinely written constitution. Nope, sorry, didn't happen. God did not give us our rights, we created them. The framers of the constitution argued, revised and voted on every one of them the same way we do our laws today. Those who use the phrase should really take a good look at the Book of Job: God can give than God can reclaim (The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away) It also demean the blood and pain that was suffered by many who were not originally covered in the early days of our nation. Women, and Native people were not considered citizens, and blacks barely so but that was for population purposes for statehood and then again it was only adult black males. Anyone familiar enough with basic European history knows that as time was progressing we were turning away from such concepts which permeated history. If you read the bible, rulership is divinely appointed the ever infamous "Divine Right of Kings." Our nation's Constitution make the source of our government's authority very clear in the first three words "We the People" no religion is to be promoted or prohibited by the government, and no person is to be made to believe in anything they do not wish to. Also no religious test are to be given for any public office of the United States. Another point, the existence of God cannot be logically proven, sorry all the arguments have been used up and it comes down to a matter of faith. If you gave proof you do not need faith, in fact looking to prove God's existence undermines faith, it shows the person is lacking in it and needs to have it bolstered. As I said when the Constitution was penned the majority of the country's population was marginalized. Let's look at things logically. Would a Civil War have been necessary if a perfect divine being was responsible? No, because the moral repugnance of that state would have been as obvious to an all perfect being as it is to us so slavery would have been abolished and full citizenship would have been available over two hundred years ago; women would have had the right to vote. And most importantly a perfect document would never have ended revision. When you say "God given" you are asking me to accept pro facto that there is a god, chiefly a particular variety and nature of god. Again I repeat: there is as much evidence for Yahweh as there is for Odin or Zeus or any of that lot. Case in point: the bible does not deny the existence of any other god, in the Hebrew Scriptures we are often told that "You will have no other god," not that there is no other god. Yahweh was developed through the course of time from a tribal to a universal god. The bible is a political book, political in the sense that the books included in the Hebrew and later Christian scriptures were designed to promote a particular world view. I recommend “The Bible On The Cutting Room Floor," "The Lost Books Of The Bible" and "Lost Christianities” to fully understand this. Submitted for your interest.
The purpose of my rant was to show how if we believe that our rights come from more than human minds, that the idea of democracy has its roots in human development. From ancient peoples debating around a fire on how the best way to handle a situation, or the early attempts at a semi democracy of ancient Athens, Rome, the Councils (things) of the Germanic peoples, are well documented. What is the danger in believing our rights are "God given"? The notion that a Supreme Being has chosen a nation or people to bestow a system guidance upon, that somehow these "rights" are perfect and above questioning revision and if necessary to be excised if they are no longer valid. The idea that people who have these rights are now morally obligated to impose them on others. Even to the elimination of those people and their cultures. We are as a species tribal, but the truth is we are one species with cosmetic variations of melanin, and that's about it. We have created our societies and all the good and ills that come with them. Many will say because Thomas Jefferson wrote "all men are endowed by their creator with the rights of life, liberty and happiness" which is only a variation of John Locke's "Life, liberty, and pursuit of property" only proves a belief in a creator, Jefferson's a Deist, basically as Dawkins puts it sexed up naturalism. Now one more point. What if I supported "God given rights (laws)” and my name was not said "Joseph" or as I prefer it "Joe" but Yousef Ibn Adama, would you still say I was right?