A GOVERNMENT MAY HONOR YOUR BASIC RIGHTS AS A HUMAN BEING, BUT IT DOES NOT GRANT THEM-GOD DOES THAT.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Psalm 82.
Verse of the Day: “What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).
“Daddy, can you help me with my homework?” Juan Jose asked as he entered the family room, where his father sat at the computer.
“Yes, Juan Jose,” Dad said. He swiveled in his computer chair. “What are you working on?”
“We have to memorize the Declaration of Independence,” Juan Jose answered. He handed his textbook to his dad.
“Let me hear what you’ve memorized so far,” Dad said.
“OK.” Juan Jose inhaled. He began and, with an occasional hint or help from Dad, recited the first sentence. He continued, ‘”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 …”‘
“iExcelente!” Dad exclaimed, using the Spanish for “excellent.” “Let me interrupt you there. That’s a really important part of the Declaration of Independence. I want to be sure you understand what you’re saying.”
“I don’t have a clue what I’m saying,” Juan Jose explained.
“Well, it means that every man and woman has certain rights, which aren’t given to us by the government; they’re given to us by God, the God who created us.”
“Uh-huh,” Juan Jose said.
“You see, Son, the very basis of this idea of personal ‘rights’-the right to life or liberty, for example—is the fact that there is a God, and he is the one who by his nature defines what is right and what is wrong. A government may honor your basic rights as a human being, but it does not grant them; God does that. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”
“I don’t think so,” Juan Jose answered.
“Let me put it this way: Your right to live or your right to be free is given to you by the righteous God, the one from whom all moral judgments-including human rights-are derived. That’s not just me talking; that’s the basis on which the United States of America was founded.”
“Wow!” Juan Jose said. “I guess I didn’t realize the Declaration of Independence said all that.”
“You’re not the only one,” Dad answered with a smile. “A lot of judges don’t realize it either!”
TO DO: Find a copy of the Declaration of Independence and tack it to your bulletin board or refrigerator this week to remind you that all men and women have been “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
TO PRAY: “Thank you, Lord, for the rights and freedom you have given us.”