Civil Liberties

The Biblical Origin of Individual Civil Liberties: Two Competing Views (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

Filmer’s Assertion of Scriptural Divine Right

Robert Filmer (1588-1653) describes and opposes a common seventeenth-century view, that “Mankind is naturally endowed and born with Freedom from all Subjection, and at liberty to choose what Form of Government it please: And that the Power which any one Man hath over others, was at first bestowed according to the discretion of the Multitude.”14 He characterizes the view as popularized by divines to minimize the king’s authority and facilitate the Church’s increasing influence and power.15 By contrast, Filmer suggests, “the Scripture is not favourable to the Liberty of the People,”16 that desire for liberty was the cause of Adam’s fall, and was consequently as dangerous for moderns as it was for Adam.17 Filmer assigns motive to Adam (desire for liberty), employing a theological hermeneutic, going beyond what is written, and effectively supporting the divine right view by that one supposition. Nothing in the Genesis text nor later texts dare assign motive to Adam. Rather the accounts and later commentary (including nine direct NT references to Adam) simply provide the historical facts of what occurred.

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The Biblical Origin of Individual Civil Liberties: Two Competing Views (Part 1)

As presented to the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics, September 16, 2020, with the title The Biblical Origin of Individual Civil Liberties, and Two Competing Views on Their Legitimacy and Implementation.

Abstract

The Declaration of Independence makes the audacious claim that “all men are created equal … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” This assertion of origin is rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview—or more precisely, a Biblical one—and has been embraced by America’s founding fathers and their philosophical progenitors. In contrast, Plato’s ideal of Republic and its implementation in contemporary Marxist theory is rooted in an opposing understanding of the origin and scope of human rights. These two competing socio-political systems underscore the significance of human origin for practical aspects of societal structures and daily life within those constructs.

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'Seismic implications' for religious liberty, church in SCOTUS ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County

"The Court ruled, in an opinion written by Justice Gorsuch, that 'sex' does, in fact, include sexual orientation and gender identity, despite the fact that legislators repeatedly voted against including those categories in the legislation. So, what now?" - Russel Moore

2051 reads

What if We Loved Them Both? The Christian case for the letter and spirit of the Bill of Rights.

“Due process is just, and it’s indispensable to the pursuit of justice. It is the answer to the question at the start of this newsletter—in the most fraught of claims and the most vicious of crimes—What if we loved them both? What if both accused and accuser were of equal worth?” - David French

331 reads

AG Barr explores legal action against state COVID-19 orders that infringe on civil rights

"On Monday, Barr sent a two-page memo to federal prosecutors asking them to consider legal action against state and local governments that infringe upon citizens' civil liberties as they enforce state lockdown policies in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic." - CPost

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Rejecting Vermeule’s Right-Wing Dworkinian Vision

"...there is nothing in Professor Vermeule’s essay to suggest that it is the only reasonable approach to securing the common good. More importantly, there are sound reasons to believe that the United States, through its written Constitution, chose a different—also reasonable—approach" - Law & Liberty

283 reads

37% of Americans Can’t Name a Right Guaranteed by First Amendment

"Only 79 percent surveyed thought atheists have the same rights as other American citizens as per a new survey conducted by Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. 76 percent of respondents believe that Muslims have equal rights like other U.S. citizens." WRN

946 reads