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Only God gives people rights

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The Deseret News Editorial Board and some recent letter-writers have used name-calling to classify a segment of the population. Words such as "extremist" and "radical" are emotionally charged words that ought to be defined.

Just what is an extremist or radical in the political sense? The political extremes are (1) those who believe God grants individuals their rights as opposed to (2) those who believe government grants individuals their rights.

For example, who or what granted us the rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" spoken of in the Declaration of Independence? Those in the first group believe that these rights come from God and only God can take them away from law-abiding citizens. Those in the second group would claim that these rights come from government and that government can take these rights away.

We the people cannot receive our rights from a government that we the people created. The creature is not master of the creator. Rather, we the people have delegated certain duties to our government through the Constitution to protect our God-given rights.

To accept that government grants us our rights presupposes that government can take those rights away, even from law-abiding citizens. The proper duty of our government is to secure our rights, not to take them away or to create new ones.

The moderate, compromising approach favored by the Deseret News editorial board and other recent letter-writers creates a society wherein we receive some rights from God and other rights from government. This view is not endowed with reason or understanding nor is it supported by the founding documents of our nation.

Patrick S. Reagan

South Jordan