Rights come from the existence of individual Moral Agency.
Who loves God more…
"Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry."
~ Thomas Jefferson
"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 rights of the individual."
~ Thomas Jefferson
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."
~ Thomas Jefferson
"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death."
~ James Madison
"Rights belong to individuals, not groups; they derive from our nature and can neither be granted nor taken away by government."
~ Ron Paul
"Rights mean you have a right to your life. You have a right to your liberty, and you should have a right to keep the fruits of your labor....I, in a way, don’t like to use those terms: gay rights, women’s rights, minority rights, religious rights. There’s only one type of right. It’s the right to your liberty."
~ Ron Paul
"The most important element of a free society, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence. All initiation of force is a violation of someone else's rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it's supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals."
~ Ron Paul
"When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters."
~ Alexis de Tocqueville
"It is above all in the present democratic age that the true friends of liberty and human grandeur must remain constantly vigilant and ready to prevent the social power from lightly sacrificing the particular rights of a few individuals to the general execution of its designs. In such times there is no citizen so obscure that it is not very dangerous to allow him to be oppressed, and there are no individual rights so unimportant that they can be sacrificed to arbitrariness with impunity." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
"The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with."
~ Eleanor Holmes Norton
"Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee."
~ F. Lee Bailey
"It is easy to make light of insistence on scrupulous regard for the safeguards of civil liberties when invoked on behalf of the unworthy. History bears testimony that by such disregard are the rights of liberty extinguished, heedlessly at first, then stealthily, and brazenly in the end."
~ Felix Frankfurter
"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down."
~ Frederick Douglass
“There is a sacred realm of privacy for every man and woman where he makes his choices and decisions-a realm of his own essential rights and liberties into which the law, generally speaking, must not intrude.”
~ Geoffrey Fisher
"All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety."
~ George Mason
"The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. All the rest have been disposed of by judicial interpretation and legislative whittling."
~ H.L. Mencken
"You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws...."
~ John Adams
"Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own."
~ John Jay Chapman
"Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other."
~ John Locke
"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active. The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime...."
~ John Philpot Curran
"The use of 'religion' as an excuse to repress the freedom of expression and to deny human rights is not confined to any country or time."
~ Margaret Atwood
"Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity."
~ Mother Teresa
"I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample under foot."
~ Robert G. Ingersoll
"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can."
~ Samuel Adams
"The spirit of liberty is not merely, as multitudes imagine, a jealousy of our own particular rights, but a respect for the rights of others, and an unwillingness that any man, whether high or low, should be wronged and trampled under foot."
~ William Ellery Channing
"The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty, but to have a slave of his own."
Sir Richard Burton
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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