While many would be comfortable defining the act of stealing as taking something which belongs to another person without permission, few today would have a clear answer as to whether the state should have a right to do the same to advance the public good. Unfortunately, their lack of clarity isn’t irrational: our readiness to embrace a total secularism necessitates that many important concepts about thievery, justice, and liberty be left behind as well.
As such, it’s safe to say that while definitions of governmental thievery vary wildly in modern America, our founding fathers had a remarkably clear idea of what rights were. We know this because they penned the Declaration of Independence, plainly stating that humans had very defined, theologically-based boundaries within which they were to be self-governed. As an example: “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…” (more…)