Paul Ryan Says Rights Come from Nature and God, Not Government

Paul Ryan - photo by Gage SkidmoreAfter being introduced as Mitt Romney’s running mate on Saturday, Representative Paul Ryan (WI-R) said that America was founded on an idea. What is the idea? Ryan said, “Our rights, come from nature and God, not from government.” Oh really? Ryan, which God are you referring to? The Christian God? I’m willing to bet there are Americans who are members of a different faith who might think their rights come from God too. The problem is that the rights people believe they have from God might not exactly line up depending on which God they pray to. This is why Paul Ryan is wrong.

America was founded on an idea, the idea of government by the people. The United States Constitution begins with “We the People.” And there is a peculiar omission in the constitution, there’s no mention of God. None. If America was founded on the idea that our rights come from God, shouldn’t we expect the constitution – the framework for our system of government – to make mention of it?

In fact, the closest the constitution comes to mentioning anything related to God is to say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This opening line of the First Amendment has been interpreted by the United States Supreme Court to mean exactly what Thomas Jefferson said, “A wall of separation between church and state.” It means a government by the people will determine the rights of all its people and that no one person’s religious faith will determine those rights. The big idea that became the United States of America was the idea that we would not be ruled by monarchy and religious dogma.

No Paul Ryan, our rights do not come from God. They come from us. We the People. This is the idea that made America special. That is the idea that continues to make America special. / photo by Gage Skidmore

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Election 2012GovernmentPolitics

#america#constitution#First Amendment#God#Paul Ryan#religion#rights#united states#we the people

  • Strange,,, Politics is separated from religion so everyone who is putting trust in god is a un-American, and anti-Constitution! Seems to me that when this man pledges on the Constitution he is a liar and fraud! Pledging on the bible IS un-Constitutional by definition already!

    • The oath of office for president is the only oath of office written in the constitution and it doesn’t mention anything about the bible. The oath of office for president:

      “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

      The hand on bible and “so help me God” parts are nowhere to be found in the constitution.

      Having said all of this, it would still be a tough case to say pledging on the bible is unconstitutional since it’s not mandatory and it’s not being done to inflict tyranny on a minority religion. Meaning, there’s no law being made by congress to endorse a specific religion in this act. Does that mean I think it should be done? No.

  • MohammadSchwartz

    Obama at IFTAR Dinner Aug 10 2012

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Please, please have a seat. Good evening, everyone. And welcome to the White House.

    Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose. It’s enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution — the law of the land, always and forever. It beats in our heart — in the soul of the people who know that OUR LIBERTY AND OUR EQUALITY IS ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR. And it runs through the history of this house, a place where Americans of many faiths can come together and celebrate their holiest of days — and that includes Ramadan.

    What’s wit dat, HMMMM?

    • There’s nothing in this quote to make me think it isn’t real so I’ll take your word for it that this is an authentic quote. Your point? By calling out Paul Ryan’s statement that doesn’t mean I agree with Obama when he makes a similar remark. And these are remarks that everyone is free to make because we have freedom of speech. The difference (and I’ll admit to bias) is that President Obama has run the country from a secular perspective. He may believe in God and he may believe our liberty and equality is endowed by our creator but he also believes in separation of church and state. — this is where the bias kicks in — I’m unconvinced at this point that Paul Ryan approaches government and religion from the same perspective.

      The use of that quote, specifically the sentences that surround the one you put in caps, only adds support to my position because it shows Obama recognizes a church-state separation. This separation does not mean government officials can’t talk religion, it means they won’t and can’t inflict their religion on others.