At CPAC on Thursday, BlazeTV host Allie Stuckey, along with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Hillsdale College's Dr. Matt Spalding discussed the importance of religious faith from a historical perspective.
During the discussion, Spalding asked Allie what the term "liberty" meant to her.
It really is the genius behind C.S. Lewis' Moral Lawgiver argument that we read in American Christianity, that other people have reiterated in different ways, and it's the idea that everyone believes, that everyone on earth, it's this thing that has stumped secular sociologists for a long time, that people of different cultures in different parts of the world all share this idea of higher moral law. That some things are a moral right and some things are wrong. Some things are in violation of human rights even if we disagree on the manifestations of that, and there are some things that everyone has been given since birth. Even the people who say that they are proponents of rights, proponents of liberty, will sometimes deny that there is a moral lawgiver or a transcendent force that has given us those things.
Allie went on to say that her millennial generation of "religious nones" — those having zero attachment to any religious faith — have a distorted perception of rights because they lack a critical piece of the puzzle: God.
According to Allie, it is important with her generation — which insists that everything is a right — to start with the rights argument. When a person is asked if they believe they are born with rights that President Donald Trump should not be allowed to take away, most often the resounding answer is yes. When a person acknowledges that government cannot take away rights of the people, the conversation can focus on where our rights come from, if not from government.
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What does it mean to be human?
Spalding redirected the conversation, posing the question of what does it mean to be human? He added that to be a successful human, liberty is required, citing the Declaration of Independence:
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Read on...
Spalding added that the whole claim of limited government comes from the understanding that rights do not and cannot come from government. Liberty allows for a nation to thrive at the individual level, and without the liberation of the individual, the society will not thrive. And without faith, an individual cannot have liberty: The government assumes the role of God and such a god would be the end of liberty.
Faith: If you practice it only on the weekend, its a hobby
Sen. Lankford then reminded viewers that Americans have struggled with the issue of living out their faith, noting that it's common for Christians to practice their religion only on the weekends.
"Something you do on the weekend only is a hobby," Lankford said.
Spalding addressed the importance of community engagement, adding that we must be engaged to be good citizens and to see to it that our government does the job we created it to do — protect liberty.
According to Lankford, when we go out into the world, as Christian Americans, we must recognize the rights of others and respect them regardless of their religious faith. He added that we could live out our faith as Christians and respect the religious liberty of other nations if we are confident and secure in our own beliefs.
While Christians have work to do in terms of living out their faith, modern culture has pushed religion out of the mainstream, leading young people to feel uncomfortable discussing religion and to treat government as a moral beacon. Until our nation understands that our rights come from God not government, we will be forced to face the threat of postmodernism and a hostile socialist takeover of our rights.
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