Bob Vander Plaats does not want to understand those who disagree with his religious dogma regarding the source of our rights (See Des Moines Register, “A Tale OF Two Conventions” 9/16/2012). The vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats believe in God. So belief in God not a distinguishing characteristic between the parties. Vander Plaats wants it to appear that the Republicans are the Party of God in order to cater to his base.
A person doesn’t have to believe in a God in order to believe there are moral absolutes. There are natural laws that are understood by all, without the necessity of being commanded by a God or religion: Don’t initiate force against others, don’t use force or fraud to take other people’s property, don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you, peaceful and honest people who do no harm to others should be left alone by government, government should treat people equally.
Our Founding Fathers were wise to embed freedom of religion in our founding documents..They made clear that no religious test should be required in order to hold public office. They wrote that our government, “… shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” The belief that a deity has commanded or prohibited any particular actions should not be the reason why any law gets passed. (Many Christians believed that the Bible allowed slavery.)
I agree with Vander Plaats on most economic issues. I agree with him that our rights preceded and are superior to government. I just don’t think they came from God, and I know they didn’t come from government.