Have you ever wondered what exactly the Founding Fathers meant by “inalienable rights?” Guest Dr. John Warwick Montgomery explains on today’s Home School Heartbeat with Michael Farris.
Dr. Montgomery, as we’re discussing human rights this week, I’m reminded of the phrase, “We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.” Clearly the Founders held the view you’re advocating—that our human rights come from God himself. What are some of the inalienable rights that governments should be respecting all over the world?
Dr. John Warwick Montgomery:
Well, for example, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the protection of one’s personal property—the kinds of rights which are reflected in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United Sates, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, the European Convention on Human Rights. All of these are, interestingly enough, within the Western tradition and have been influenced deeply by Christian values—by what comes from Scripture. If you go to other parts of the world, you won’t find anything like this, and the reason is that the Christian impact has not taken place in those parts of the world to the extent that it has in the West.
Yes, I agree with you entirely. You know, it really is important to remember how much Christianity influenced our way of thinking about our nation and our culture. And a good place to review this is to go back and just read the Declaration of Independence over again. Until then, I’m Mike Farris.