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Are You Owned by the Government?

October 21, 2011
Andrew P. Napolitano
10/21/2011

Does the government work for us or do we work for the government? If the government exists to serve us and if freedom is part of our humanity, how can the government take freedom from us? Tonight, is human freedom in America a myth, or is it reality?

Today is the release date of my newest book, It is Dangerous to be Right When the Government is Wrong. This is my sixth book. All have been about human freedom and the government’s failure to protect it. In all my previous works, I’ve emphasized the theme that all human beings possess natural rights as part of our humanity. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we view these rights as gifts from our Creator. This is particularly so if you are an American, and if you mark the founding of this nation at July 4th 1776, as it was then that the Continental Congress promulgated in the Declaration of Independence Jefferson’s immortal – though hardly novel – words to the effect that we humans are all created equal, and we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Historians have speculated that Jefferson originally planned to use the concept of property ownership in that iconic litany of human rights, but he feared that addressing slavery in the same document in which he had characterized the long train of abuses visited upon the colonists by the king of England would have opened the Declaration and its signers to charges of hypocrisy. Nevertheless, Talmudic and Christian scholars, and renowned skeptics, even atheists and deists, had long held, by Jefferson’s time, that the divine right of kings was a myth, that all humans own their own bodies, and that personal freedoms are integral to those bodies. Whether the ultimate source of human freedom is found in theology or biology, freedom exists, freedom is ours by nature, and the long history of the world is really one unceasing, increasing catalogue of the epic battles for personal freedoms against government tyranny.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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