Do our rights come from man or do they come from God? In a contentious interview with Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, CNN host Chris Cuomo told the judge that: “Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.” He went on to argue: “Our rights do not come from God.”
These statements would certainly surprise and dismay the founders of the country and the framers of our government. The Declaration of Independence rests on the foundation that our rights are God-given. “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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Starting with the Declaration and continuing on to our present day, we have lots of documents, as well as prominent leaders, who contend that our rights are God-given and are not given to us by government.
In this commentary on the statements by Chris Cuomo, Peter Wehner says, “It is one thing to argue that our rights are not God-given and that the Declaration, the founders, [Abraham] Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and so many other great documents and figures in American history were wrong to claim they were. Those who hold this view, of course, need to explain the basis for believing in and protecting unalienable rights and human dignity if they are not grounded in the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
David Barton, in his recent commentary, suggested one reason Chris Cuomo made these statements. It was because Cuomo is 44 years old. Like others who graduated from American schools in the last few decades, he and millions of other students were never taught the historical basis of our government.
This controversy provides another reason why a number of states have enacted laws or are considering bills to require high school students to pass a citizenship test before graduation. Sadly many naturalized citizens know more about our history and government than native-born Americans. Chris Cuomo’s comments demonstrate that.