Two months ago I was asked to do a 15-20 minute talk about the 4th of July. By the time I finished I had written over 100 pages of text. So for the past several days I’ve cut and trimmed and cut again to finally get to a 15-20 minute length talk. But the issues here could fill books. This talk is only an overview of a summary of an outline. I wish we could devote the time this topic deserves. I especially want to direct my remarks to the youth. I know this information is not readily available or taught in schools.

I have to talk fast. So Here we go.

This talk explores:

  1. What is the beating heart of America?

  2. And, Is it still beating today? 

Part 1: What is the beating heart of America?

What is the 4th of July? What do we celebrate?

July 4th is the quintessential American holiday. We share it with no other country or people on earth—it is ours alone. So, what are we celebrating?

On the surface, we celebrate the birth of our country—we celebrate America.

But what is the core, central power—the beating heart of America—that deserves such a celebration?

America has made the claim of being “God-blessed” and God-protected. We sing about it, speech about it, and our political leaders close virtually every talk invoking the blessing of God. But does God really support America? Is there something different, better, higher, more correct about America, deserving of divine appellation?

If you look at the past 241 years it seems fairly obvious that there is something at least different about America.

Is it wealth and resources?

A simple financial comparison between America and most of the rest of the world would show something different or maybe unique going on. But then again, lots of countries have abundant resources and financial power. Is that enough to claim “God-blessed” status? Maybe. But not universally. There are plenty of rich countries and rich people that you would not in any way consider God-blessed. So, riches alone are not conclusive. It could be an effect, but it is not a cause.

Military Might

Is it because our military has become the strongest in the world? Maybe. But think about the founding: we were not even the strongest military on our own continent, let alone the world. But more importantly, would God bless a country simply because it is powerful? It seems sort of obvious that power alone cannot be the reason—because power, ungoverned or wrongly employed, would be the opposite of God-blessed. Again, military might and power could be an effect but is certainly not a cause.

The People

Is it our people? This is both a correct and an incorrect answer at the same time. Are Americans simply different, better, harder working, smarter, inherently wiser, kinder, inventive people? Well it seems many, if not all of those adjectives have applied off and on. But a cursory analysis also shows that many of these “inherently” better people didn’t initially come from America. They came from almost every corner of the globe, but mostly from Europe and Great Britain. So, if it were something genetic or inherent about the people, then the countries from which they originated should also have the same genetic advantage. So, while the answer is not “genetics,” there was, and to a much lesser extent still is, something about an American that is at the root cause of this American experiment. So, we’ll leave that one open for now.


Is it, as most of you younger than maybe 30 were taught relentlessly in school, our diversity of color and ethnicity? Is the fact that people of all colors, makes and models, live here, is that at the core of it all, the power source of the claim of being “God-blessed”? Well again, if you rely on genetic diversity, it seems obvious from history that throwing ethnically disparate people together does not create “greatness”; rather this has typically ended in horrendous acts of war and tragedy. But really, how could various levels of melanin and different genetic markers affect anything of significance? So, it most certainly is NOT genetic diversity of appearance. That is not an engine or producer of anything—at best it’s a neutral and often it has proven to be terribly destructive.

Form of Government

So, I ask again, is there a secret heart or power source buried somewhere in our history or structure that would lead to success, possible greatness, and a true claim of being a “God-blessed” nation? And maybe equally important, if we can locate that source, is it still active today?

Many people will claim it’s our form of government that is the reason for American greatness, power, ascendance and the claim of “god-blessedness.” That may very well be true—our form of government might be that core source of power and reason why God might bless it. But I dare say not many people can properly explain that form or how it should operate. And is it the same today as it was at the founding?


If asked, “What is the American form of government?” I would bet almost anything that the vast bulk of people would answer very proudly, “Democracy.” And again, if you are younger than 30, that number might be close to 100% thanks to our government schools. Democracy is rule by majority (or often plurality). But is it surprising that our founders quite literally hated the idea of democracy? They called a direct democracy the “tyranny of the majority.” To them, a true democracy was anathema to everything they were trying to accomplish. But our teachers, media, and politicians have flat out lied to us, so that almost all people here and around the world have accepted the idea of Democracy as equivalent with America or freedom.

But It doesn’t require much analysis to prove the point. In a democracy, a plurality of the people tell the remainder what to do. So, if you are in the minority, you have no protection at all, end of story—majority (or plurality) rules. Also, in a democracy, rights don’t exist—only government-issued licenses and privileges exist, and those are controlled by the majority and they change as the will of the mob (majority) changes. If you live in this type of world, and you have a bit more money or property than your neighbors, you are at their mercy if they decide you are not paying your “fair share” and they want some of what you have.

The LDS people should be acutely aware of this inherent flaw in “Democracy,” as we were relentlessly persecuted for holding minority religious beliefs. Eventually, this led to the deployment of the US Military (“Oh, you have multiple wives, we don’t like that…that’s against our beliefs and we make the rules—so we’ll TAKE your property and for good measure throw your men in prison—thank you very much.”)

Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist 10 (June 1788) that democracies don’t possess a single “good feature of government…” and that “Their very character was tyranny: their figure deformity.”

It has been credited to Benjamin Franklin that: "Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch.”

So, the beating heart of America is NOT democracy.


A more informed person might say we have “A Republic.” They might even quote Benjamin Franklin who was asked this very question after emerging from the Constitutional Convention: “What kind of government have you given us?” he responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

But is there anything intrinsically magical about a “republican” form of government on its own? The word “Republic” simply means “representative.” In a republic, you democratically elect people to represent you. This might avoid some of the pitfalls of a pure or direct democracy (popular tyranny), but if the people have been corrupted, then all you’ve done is simply moved the tyranny up the ladder to your representatives, and voila, you have “Representative tyranny” supported by the masses deciding how to divide up the property of the “haves.” After all, in my prior example, the Mormons were persecuted and relieved of their property and their freedom WHILE living under a Republican form of government. So, there is nothing magic about a form of government called a republic.

Constitutional Republic

An even more enlightened student of the founding might say, the reason—the heart, the core of it all—is the fact we have a “Democratically elected Constitutional Republic”. And again, they would be partly correct. Adding a Constitution into the mix can be helpful. But, can you see that this form of government again is only as good as the underlying constitution upon which it is based. A constitution is nothing more than a plan for a government. The resulting government would be a mirror of the design document. If the constitutional design is flawed, the government it creates would also be flawed. So there is also nothing special about the words “Constitutional Republic.”

Our Constitution

Well what about our Constitution? Is there something special about the way our framers designed our Constitution? Is that the reason? The core? The beating heart? Partly. Many LDS “of a certain age” will recall a time when it was common to hear about the Constitution—a Heavenly Banner. But is our constitution the central, core source of power—and the beating heart, the single principle? Well, even the founders said they knew the constitution they created was a compromise. But Principles of truth are not the result of compromises. A compromise is like saying, I know this great recipe for a delicious chocolate cake. It calls for 2 cups of sugar. But someone on the other side says, NO! I think we should add 2 cups of DIRT instead. So, let’s COMPROMISE and we will add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of dirt. THERE, we compromised and all is well.

The core—the beating heart—of a system of government that claims to be God-blessed cannot be based on a principle that emerged as the result of a compromise. Principles are absolute—they are either true or right or they are not.

Benjamin Franklin said about the constitutional convention process that: "…when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views." He thought it impossible to expect a "perfect production" from such a gathering, but he believed that the Constitution they had just drafted, "with all its faults," was better than any alternative that was likely to emerge.

The Framers knew their constitution was not perfect—among other things it allowed Black slavery—a diabolical practice that was antithetical to the claims that supported the revolution. The Constitution in its entirety is NOT doctrine from God—and they knew that. But they also knew it was the best that could be done at the time and better than any other prior form of government ever created.

I’ll say a bit more about the Constitution in a few minutes.

If the core source of the American Experiment is not exactly OUR Constitution, could it be the Bill of Rights?

Bill of Rights

Is the Constitution that sets up our government AND the first 10 amendments (a.k.a. the bill of rights) the answer? At least there you find the principles—a list of rights. Freedom of speech, religion, arms, no unreasonable search and seizure, etc.

But that’s not exactly right either. Would it surprise you again to know that many of the founders were opposed to the Bill of Rights?

Think about it, they ended the Constitutional Convention without a Bill of Rights. Bills of Rights were a common place concept in the day and the framers were very aware of them. In fact, a Bill of Rights was proposed near the end of the convention, but rejected unanimously.

But, why?? Why would the very people who risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor rebelling and enduring 8 years of war and years preparing for this moment, to then produce a Constitution without a Bill of Rights?

Does it seem reasonable they were trying to diminish the rights of the people?

James Madison and others believed that adding a list of rights was antithetical for two reasons:

  1. They were afraid that a list would be seen as comprehensive and thus anything left out would in the future be excluded.

  2. Given an exact enumerated list of rights, a future government could set about to systematically diminish each right and chip away at it. 

The founders believed that the people held all power and authority and the constitution gave the government only exactly what was enumerated in the document—it’s a very limited, defined, articulated power, and everything not precisely named in the document remained with the people. Many of the framers, including the Father of the Constitution were against a Bill of rights—because the people already had them all. Why risk a list—what if you missed one or more? What if the future was different (as it would be) and their list was misconstrued (as it has been—just look at what the courts have done to the commerce clause)?

In Federalist 84, Hamilton said: "the people surrender nothing;" instead, they merely delegate to government—to public servants as public trustees—limited powers and therefore, he added, "they have no need of particular reservations" (in a Bill of Rights).

In Federalist 84, Madison said: "Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain everything, they have no need of particular reservations." 

So, a list of rights cannot be the central core power (the beating heart)—they believed ALL rights resided in the people so no list was required.

Back to the Constitution: What is it?

George Washington is credited with saying: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” 

So, what was the constitution? It was an attempt to chain down the very fiery beast that has always been and will always be the biggest threat to the fundamental rights of people—GOVERNMENT.

The framers did NOT for a second accept the idea that “good” people could be counted on to control the beast of government.

"In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."Thomas Jefferson

"Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt." Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

The founders recognized the truth that it is the nature of almost all men to abuse power—as did the founders of our LDS religion: “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” (D&C 121:39)

But, while the structure of the constitution is brilliant, you won’t find a principle. All you see is tactics. It’s a document designed to bring about a principle—but you won’t find the principle stated.

It is also a mundane, lawyerly, practical document…actually rather short (4500 words, about 8.5 typed pages, and 7 Articles. By comparison, the longest Harry Potter book is over 200,000 words, the complete works of Shakespeare are 884,647 words and ObamaCare with its regulations is 11,588,500 words).

So where is the beating heart or power source of America? What is it that makes America different and worthy of claiming God-Blessed status?

It’s NOT:

So far, the closest we’ve come is that it’s something about the people (at least those of 1776) and the Constitution / Bill of Rights they designed. But constitutions and Bills of Rights don’t write themselves; they are based on ideas. So, where do you find the ideas? What is the core, foundational, beating heart behind the constitution and the Bill of Rights? Find that, and you’ve located the beating heart of America—the source of the claim of God-Blessedness.

The Declaration of Independence

The answer to the question is found in the Declaration of Independence.

When King George and the British Parliament passed a series of acts, laws, and regulations that the colonists believed violated their rights, they rebelled. But what “rights” did they actually have? Where did those rights come from? What is the relationship between God, man, and government? What is the proper role of government? Were the colonists justified in revolting and rebelling?

The Declaration of Independence answers all of this in fewer than 100 words!!!

There are four main sections to the Declaration of Independence

  1. It says if a people are going to rebel, they should have good reasons—justifiable reasons—and they should explain them to the world 

  2. It sets forth the SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHS, this is the Beating Heart—the source of power, the underlying grand principles that changed the world. In less than 100 words, the framers explained the first principle of eternity and the nature of man and God and the proper and only role of government—they even explain where government gets its authority and power—all this in under 100 words!!!! They concluded that If a despot or tyrannical government has abused and usurped these rights, then the people have the right to rebel and set up a new government. 

  3. Then the Declaration of Independence lists approximately 30 abuses that the King and parliament had done to the people of the colonies. It also states all the remonstrances and efforts the colonists had made supplicating and petitioning the Crown—all to no end. 

  4. Then the conclusion: Because we are by nature free—which means government force should only be used to defend and protect our pre-existing inherent rights of life, liberty, and property (the right to organize and pursue our lives and pursue our happiness as we alone define it), and because the King violated and usurped our rights, and executed tyrannical control over us, therefore, we are justified in separating and using force to accomplish it. 

Here is what the Declaration of Independence says:

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...

So, the beating heart is:

FIRST, the living belief in the minds and souls of the people that they are inherently sovereign, endowed with free will from on high, and that governments have no inherent existence or right—that government is a creation of the sovereign free people, made with the sole purpose to secure their rights of life, liberty, and property. That government gets its just power from the consent of the governed and the only power the people possess is the defense of their rights. So that is the only power government can have.

NEXT, the founders memorialized those principles in the Declaration of Independence.

NEXT, they fought and won a war based on these principles—

FINALLY, they drafted a Constitution based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

So you see, the self-evident truth contained in the principles of the Declaration of Independence are the core power, the energizing principle and beating heart of America.

What Form of Government do We Have?

We have: A democratically elected constitutional republic based upon the principles of the Declaration of Independence: That people are equal before the law, no one has the inherent right to rule, no one is forced to serve, and all are endowed with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and property—the right to think, say, do, direct your own life, live by your conscience, choose your way, free from external force or fraud. That government has no rights; that the people can share their fundamental right to protect and defend their inherent rights, and that is all; that governments are empty shells that we fill with just authority and power—the same power we have to defend our rights of life, liberty, and property (think, say, do) we can give to our servant government to exercise on our behalf. But we can only give to government the power we have—and we only have the just power of defense against abuse of our fundamental rights—nothing more.

And, if our servant government fails to protect and defend our inherent rights or if it actively violates those rights, then it is our duty to alter or abolish that government and begin again.

Does that justify a claim of God-protected and Blessed? The answer is yes. Why? Because those principles are consistent with who we really are—we are free willed individual sovereign beings. This is our core. These principles in the Declaration of Independence resonate because they actually reflect the truth about who we are—and our relationship to God and his government and how he interacts and treats us…the Declaration of Independence is precisely how God would explain it …these are eternally true principles:

The Beating Heart of American Uniqueness and the Basis of God-blessedness

The constitution was written to achieve this end—protect individual free will and create an environment of freedom (absence of force and fraud). To the extent it does this, we can rightly claim the blessing and protection from God.

But unfortunately, it has changed over time as generations of Americans have tinkered with the law and changed its application and meaning.

To the extent we continue to protect and defend free will, we can expect and claim God’s protection and blessing.

To the extent we use our laws to abuse free will and individual sovereignty we can expect no protection or blessing. In fact, we can rely on being cursed and destroyed.

Part 2: Is the Heart Still Beating?

The beating heart is the defense and protection of individual free will and the associated rights.

I asked at the beginning—if we find the heart of America, is it still beating today?

To answer that, let’s look at a few more things:

Free will: Every person when they come into existence does so as a fully independent, sovereign being, existing with inherent rights. The right to govern their own existence as they see fit, free from external force or fraud from any other person or group. This is the government of God. He is the galactic guarantor of this environment. When he creates a unique being, he must guarantee the protection of that person’s right of conscience and defense and protection of their free will. If God failed in this or if he violated this he would cease to be God.

All of creation beats around this central chord—everything depends upon it…nothing can exist without it.

In his speech “America’s Fate and Ultimate Destiny,” Marion G. Romney said: “As a matter of fact, free agency underlies all of God's laws. It is God's law of liberty. It is the basis of existence.”

This is the highest and first principle of all eternity and all creation depends upon it and all creation would fail without it. This is free will. The defense and protection of freewill is what both allows God to organize the base elements into existence and what sustains him as God. Intelligence as spoken about in the scriptures responds to God’s desire because it trusts that He will defend and protect its nature—to act and NOT to be acted upon. The fact it responds to him allows him to create.


This is a state of existence—the protection of free will without limitation. It’s a gift and guarantee from God. Freedom is a negative state (inaction)—thou shalt NOT use force or fraud against another person. In a state of freedom, we are protected against external force or fraud. In other words, freedom is an environment where initial or offensive force and fraud cannot happen because the system is protected and defended by God.

This is absolute—there are no “yeah buts” or “what ifs” or “unless you really don’t like what another person is doing” …it is the absolute absence of offensive force or fraud. That means as long as a person does not use force or fraud themselves, they are protected in anything they want to think, say or do. This is non-negotiable, iron clad, it is the state of nature that God creates and defends using his omnipotence. The Constitution attempted to create a government that would achieve this state.

Obviously, our founders understood this:

Thomas Jefferson: “But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant's will and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” Thomas Jefferson, Joyce Appleby and Terence Ball, ed., Jefferson: Political Writings (New York; Cambridge University Press, 1999), 224.

Our religious leaders also understand this:

David O. McKay: “A man may act as his conscience dictates so long as he does not infringe upon the rights of others. That is the spirit of true democracy, and all government by the Priesthood should be actuated by that same high motive.” Conference Report Oct 1938,

Bruce R. McConkie: Liberty is “...the privilege to be free and to be unrestrained in all activity except that which interferes with the equally sacred rights of others.” Know Your Constitution, Deseret News, March 26, 1945,

Enlightened people throughout history have understood this idea:

John Locke: "Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” Two Treatises on Government, 191.

Frederick Bastiat: “Life, Liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

Ayn Rand: “There are two potential violators of man’s rights: the criminals and the government. The great achievement of the United States was to draw a distinction between these two — by forbidding to the second the legalized version of the activities of the first.” 1963 essay "Man's Rights," which appears in two of Rand's book anthologies: *The Virtue of Selfishness* and *Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal*.

Yet, in 2017 we support systems, laws, rules and force that are used every day to unjustifiably control the free will of people. This is dangerous.

Marion G. Romney (LDS religious leader) said: “We must be careful that we are not led to accept or support in any way any organization, cause, or measure which, in its remotest effect, would jeopardize free agency, whether it be in politics, government, religion, employment, education, or any other field. It is not enough for us to be sincere in what we support, we must be right!” Conference Report, Oct 1960, 73-75

Howard W. Hunter (former president of LDS church) said: “If you remove from a man his right to ‘go to hell,’ you likewise remove his free agency to go to heaven.” BYU, 8 March, 1966

Elder George Q. Cannon (LDS religious leader) added, "to deprive men of their agency, is contrary to the purposes of our God." Conference Report Oct 1897, 52

President David O. McKay (former president of LDS church): “To deprive an intelligent human being of his free agency is to commit the crime of the ages.” Conference Report, Apr. 1942, 72-73

President Joseph F. Smith (former president of LDS church): “The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Freedom; the gospel of the Son of God is the gospel of liberty.” Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, March 2, 1867, 3

Elder B.H. Roberts (LDS historian): “The agency of man would not be worth the name if it did not grant liberty to the wicked to fill the cup of their iniquity, as well as liberty to the virtuous to round out the measure of their righteousness.” A New Witness for God, 47-58.

The Way To Judge:

So how do you judge what is justified force and what is not? Government has no inherent rights or power. It can only act in ways that individual people are empowered to act.

If you want to analyze a law or policy of the government, simply ask yourself: Do I have the right to do this myself? — If the answer is NO, then neither does the government.

Ezra Taft Benson (former president of LDS church) said,

“The important thing to keep in mind is that people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess.” The Proper Role of Government, from an address Feb 29, 1968, before the Utah Forum for the American Idea, Salt Lake City, Utah, Also in An Enemy Hath Done This, 125148 or God, Family Country 281-303 or online at

Ezra Taft Benson added:

“This means, then, that the proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man possesses such power to delegate. The creature cannot exceed the creator.” (God Family Country, 286)

This concept therefore excludes necessarily any attempt to do good through government. Remember what George Washington said: that government is force, nothing else. So government cannot be employed justifiably to require charity or protect a person against themselves—whether it’s for their own good or for the so-called common good or general welfare.

C.S. Lewis explained it this way: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

We judge a law or act of government based on whether we individually have the right to do it.

Example of the party:

Your neighbor throws a party. There is drinking and music. You don’t have the right to force your neighbor to stop serving alcohol simply because you disagree with the practice. they are not infringing your rights of life, liberty or property—if you lack the justified right to use force so do the police. Afterwards, one of the guests damages your car while leaving the party—the law has the right to demand compensation because you have that right. Then another guest attempts to physically assault you—you have the right to forcibly defend your self—therefore, the police have the right to use force to arrest them. The government has no inherent rights, only people do. That includes the right to forcibly defend your life, liberty and property—that is where government gets its just power. And that is what limits government power.

The Declaration of Independence says this, our founders say this, our religious leaders have said it, and God has said it—and as Marion G. Romney said, on this point sincerity is not enough—we must be right. Our own eternal progression depends upon it. Violate the first principle of eternity and you risk a lot.

 Because we are held responsible for our own acts of force and for our support of force through our government.

LDS Scripture — D&C 134:1

"We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them."

Is the Heart Still Beating?

So is the American heart—the defense and protection of individual free will and the associated rights—still beating?

To answer that we must answer a few more questions.


What are Rights? Every person is created. As part of that process, at our very core we are free will; it is us—part and parcel, interwoven, intermeshed, we are made from free will—it is us, we are it. That means we have the right, inherent within us to determine our own thoughts, speech, actions, choices, direct our lives how we see fit subject to no external force or fraud. This is inviolable—it cannot be extracted from us, and because God is omnipotent, it will always be protected and defended.

In sum, we have the right to think, say, do as we choose.

Think: First, the right of conscience includes the right to think as you will without limitation. There is no boundary that can ever be justly placed around this—it is limitless.

Say: a.k.a. freedom of speech or expression. If we can think as we will, the next natural extension is to say or express what we think. This is also a fundamental right that technically cannot be justly limited. Without getting to far into the weeds, most people will say that there is a limit when our words are so closely linked to action that violates the rights of others. The example they give is you cannot yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater. However, even that is not a satisfying explanation. I contend the only limit on words or speech or expression is truth. If your expression is true it cannot ever be justly limited. For example, ‘yelling fire’ in a crowded theater would be perfectly fine if indeed the theater was on fire. In other words, it’s true.

Do: now we arrive at the final logical extension of our right to direct our lives as we desire. A true sovereign has the right to think, say, and do…But is there an actual limitation on action? Obviously, the answer is yes. We are forbidden from using force or fraud against another … That is the limitation.


But let’s extend this farther. Many people do not understand why “property” is included in fundamental rights. They get confused and people in power have traded on that confusion for a very long time. But the explanation is straight forward. Doing is necessary for living. Our time and how we choose to use it, is one of our inherent rights. When our actions result in the accumulation of food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, apps, computer programs, iPhones—that stuff is called property. It is an actual extension of our bodies and self—the property is the result of our labors and that is a fundamental right when obtained through your efforts without force or fraud.

Look at it this way: those things (thoughts, expressions, actions) are nothing but potential while they are inside us. But once we exert we can use thoughts, expressions, and actions to create and the results are equally a part of us—as much as the potential was part of us.

If you create a song, it comes from your thoughts and is expressed in writing and comes to life by your act of playing or signing. That song literally is you or yours. Similarly, if you work for another person punching a keyboard all day and get paid for that, that payment is an EXCHANGE of value—you have traded your time and thoughts, expressions, and actions for that money. The money you took in trade is yours and only yours, subject to NO other higher claim. No other person or group has a prior claim on you—and that includes your thoughts, expressions, time and actions. Similarly, they do not have a prior claim on those things you voluntarily trade for your thoughts, expressions, time, and actions—all of that is yours inherently.

Can you also see that there is no actual gain when you trade your thoughts, expressions, time and actions for money? It’s simply an even trade. All you have done is monetized the value of your pre-existing thoughts, expressions, time, and actions that were already in you. That money is yours and is just as protected and sacred as the initial thoughts, expressions, and actions were before it. That is why property is included in fundamental, unalienable, inherent, God-given, God-protected rights.

When we think, express or act, and trade the result from the thoughts, expressions or action of another person, we have participated in free trade and free trade is one of your fundamental rights. As Alexander Hamilton said in The Federalist (number 79): “In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will” (emphasis mine). And your will is fundamental and protected.

Those are your fundamental, inherent rights. They live inside you. They don’t require any input or help from outside. All they require is that you be left alone—that means no external force or fraud. So you can work out your life, your beliefs, your opinions, your own life as you see fit! That is your God-given and God-protected right.

Negative vs. Positive

As clear as that is, it can still become very confusing in practice because a government limited to protecting and defending fundamental rights would be quite small. But the nature of most people is to expand power. The central nexus of power is government—so over the last 241 years people in and out of government have sought to expand its reach and size. One of the main mechanisms for that is the introduction of new “rights.”

The rights we have discussed today are typically defined as “negative,” simply because they live inside us and only require a negative environment—one where force and fraud are not allowed.

But another group of so-called “rights” has invaded everything. These are called Positive Rights because they require government force to exist. They do not exist on their own.

They are the freedom froms and the guarantees.

Freedom From:


The guarantee or “right” to food, clothing, housing, medical care, free education, tolerance, friendship, love, peace, enjoyment of the arts, acceptance, good parents, love, kindness, employment, opportunity, social security, economic security, emotional security, health security, realization of social rights and cultural rights, free development of personality, living wage suitable for dignity, leisure, rest, limited working hours, holidays with pay, standard of living, well-being, social services, on and on it goes.

So there it is—security. All of these “positive” rights feed on fear and are bolstered by our desire for security. We all fear the idea of not having sufficient to live on or of becoming sick and not being able to afford health care—and worse, seeing our children suffer. It tears at us. Even seeing it in other people affects our natural desire to help.

But these are not true rights—they require government force. They attempt to guarantee happiness provided through government intervention (force). But we have never been guaranteed happiness or security. We have the right to use our time, choices, efforts, in any way we decide, to pursue happiness, to find security but we are NOT guaranteed of ever having it, and government has no right to step into that process—ever.

Thomas Jefferson said: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Jefferson to Edward Carrington, May 27, 1788, in PTJ, 13:208-9. Letterpress copy available online at the Library of Congress Transcription available at Founders Online.

Barry Goldwater expressed it this way: “Government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also strong enough to take it away.” (In "Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right," Lisa McGirr cites Theodore H. White, "The Making of the President, 1964" [New York: Atheneum, 1965], page 337.) 

Can you see how wrong and destructive the idea of positive rights is?—that freedom from and guarantees of are contrary to the very core beating heart of America and its founding principles?

Positive rights claim that a person has the God-given, fundamental right to DEMAND things, services, and actual outcomes from other people, provided by government force, to TAKE from one and GIVE to another. All positive rights fall into this category and as such they CANNOT be true rights.

If you accept the principles God established and upon which America was created, then the concept of positive rights is anathema.

Is the Heart of America Still Beating?

Our country changed direction over 100 years ago and based on years of study and observation, it is my opinion that our fate as a country is sealed and we cannot individually do much to change things. That is about as depressing of a thought as I can imagine.

But here is the good news. God judges us according to our individual hearts, our understanding, and our desires. It is NEVER too late to learn about and incorporate the first principle of eternity: freedom. Start now and learn the principles in the Declaration of Independence, study the ideas of the founders, search the scriptures for similar concepts (they are everywhere).

You can feel the truth and power of these ideas, they motivate and encourage, they resonate with you because the defense and protection of free will is at the core of your being—don’t ignore it. Let those feelings motivate you to open your heart and mind and shake off the dulling influence of false ideas. It doesn’t matter what happens in the wider society or country, all that matters is your individual understanding and desire.

The people of 1776 had the same fears and concerns as we have. But they did not allow their fears to rule them. They loved free will and were willing to struggle for it.

Will you stand alongside the people who throughout history supported and defended free will. Do you identify with the words of Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine? Do they move you and speak to your heart?

Sam Adams delivered this speech to an audience at the State House in Philadelphia on August 1, 1776, motivating them to stand and fight. Ask yourself these questions and notice the absolute standard he sets:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom—go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels.... Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” (

Patrick Henry spoke to the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775 at St. Johns Church, encouraging the legislature to support the revolution. His words apply equally to us, and our struggle is the same now as it was then. We are engaged in a war—we have been since before we came to this earth…the war has always been the same and it continues NOW—closing our eyes will not change that fact. Try to apply Patrick Henry’s words directly to you:

“Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not?

If we wish to be free …we must fight!

Some may cry, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that you wish? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Finally, Thomas Pain wrote the ‘American Crisis” in December 1776. The words and sentiments of his writing are credited with inspiring an army and motivating a nation and became the voice of the Revolution.

This pamphlet was read aloud to the Continental Army on December 23, 1776, three days before the Battle of Trenton, to bolster morale. His words were also published throughout the colonies to support the resistance among patriots, as well as shame neutrals and loyalists toward the cause.

The war against free will and freedom is as real today as it was in 1776 and as it was in the Pre-existence. It is an eternal war against the use of government force. We have been warned. Whether you understand or accept it, really does not matter because it is happening regardless. Listen to Thomas Paine’s words, let them sink into your heart and mind because

“THESE are the times that try mens’ souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

This is our day. Our struggle against government force today is every bit as real as it was in 1776 or in the pre-existence. And how we view and respond to this issue is critical to our own personal progression. Our souls are quite literally being tried.

Will we gather the strength and the determination to first learn about free will and the proper and only acceptable role of government?—which is protecting a zone where force and fraud are not allowed and where individual free will can flourish. And finally, will we display the courage to internally apply those principles and teach others as the opportunity presents?

I pray that we will.