Newly-Announced Republican Nominee for VP Paul Ryan Says that “Nature and God” Give out Rights, Not Government
by Leah Waldron
Today in Virginia, after Romney introduced Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, the 42-year-old House Budget Committee Chair riled up the crowd up with the following statement: “Our rights come from nature and God, not from government.” I guess Romney wanted a man who would add some much-needed passion and non-Mormon, pro-Protestant religious fervor to the ticket.
Check and check.
But there is one major flaw in Ryan’s assertion. Rights do not “come from,” as Ryan put it, anyone. No one “gives” a person a right (although lots of people try to take them away). And he is right that the government does not “give” them out, either. The American government “protects” certain rights, if enough people vote on those rights to be duly provided. So I guess Ryan surmised that if rights should not be given by the government (i.e. the Bill of “Rights”), they must be given by the most popular deity recognized by modern-day America: God! (and “nature,” whatever the hell that means).
Even if all Americans were church-going, God-fearing, registered voters, the idea of “God-given” rights is Biblically inaccurate. Last time I checked, God was not too invested in the idea of humans having rights. According to the Bible (verse: all of them) you were either “for him” or “against him,” and if you were against him, it meant that you were dead to him. Literally. If a person even looked at God the wrong way, God smote him in a psychotically creative way. Sure, every once in a while God pardoned someone (i.e. Adam and Eve, to start), but he made sure they suffered. So no, God does not give people rights. He taketh them away. (If God were alive today, he’d be in prison for acts of genocide… but hey, they “deserved” it, right? Stupid sodomites!).
Bible studies aside, Ryan’s theory is a slap in the face to any American who does not believe in God—let alone God’s ability to dole out rights. I, like a great number of other Americans, do not believe in God. (I’ll say this one more time for the Sarah Palins and Mike Huckabees and Rick Santorums of this world, as well as anyone else who says that LGBT people do not deserve the rights that God condemns: not all Americans believe in God, so stop cramming his almighty word down our throats like the Bill of Rights does not exist. Thanks.)
For the people in the Virginia audience who don’t believe in God, Ryan said that “nature” gives out rights. If this is true, then sign me up, nature! All this time I thought that legal organizations like the ACLU gave me rights. But nope. It was nature! By this logic, just the fact that I’m alive means that I have rights. Ergo, I can do whatever the hell I want, with whomever I want, and no one can say that I am unequal under the eyes of the government.
So thanks, Ryan. You just said that nature gives me the right to be in a same-sex marriage, and that government cannot step in and change my nature-given rights.