Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Centrality of Faith to our Founding and Our Human Rights

Much commentary is being written about the last debate of the Florida Republican primary.

Rick Santorum was asked last night what role faith would play in his decisions as president.  Commentary's Peter Wehner is right when he calls former senator Santorum's reply,"[t]he best answer of the night in terms of political philosophy":

"Faith is a very, very important part of my life, but it’s a very, very important part of this country. The foundational documents of our country — everybody talks about the Constitution, very, very important. But the Constitution is the “how” of America. It’s the operator’s manual. The “why” of America, who we are as a people, is in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” The Constitution is there to do one thing: protect God-given rights. That’s what makes America different than every other country in the world. No other country in the world has its rights — rights based in God-given rights, not government-given rights. And so when you say, well, faith has nothing to do with it, faith has everything to do with it. If rights come… (applause) if our president believes that rights come to us from the state, everything government gives you, it can take away. The role of the government is to protect rights that cannot be taken away. And so the answer to that question is, I believe in faith and reason and approaching the problems of this country but understand where those rights come from, who we are as Americans and the foundational principles by which we have changed the world."

 The father of our constitution, James Madison, advised that the only real guarantee of our liberty is that there is a Higher Authority than the state.