2012 Election | Mitt Romney | News | Paul Ryan | Religion

Paul Ryan At RNC: 'Rights Come From God And Nature, Not Government': VIDEO


Wisconsin Gov. Paul Ryan officially accepted the Republican Party's vice presidential nomination. As part of his celebratory, self-laudatory speech, Ryan explained to the crowd that despite his and running mate Mitt Romney's age, they make it work; he hammered President Obama on alleged domestic inaction; and he celebrated about his mother, Betty, a stand-in during this campaign for all people, particularly women, of retirement age.

The biggest applause line, however, was most likely this one, delivered toward the end of the speech, when he claimed American rights are moral rights given to us by God:

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

I've included a clip of that bit AFTER THE JUMP, as well as longer footage of Ryan's entire RNC speech.

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  1. Unchanging Old Testament morality? That will go down well with the slave-owners and stoners of adulterers.

    Posted by: MikeW | Aug 30, 2012 7:05:02 AM

  2. He's a Congressman, not the Governor of Wisconsin.

    Posted by: Patrick | Aug 30, 2012 7:12:30 AM

  3. Ryan was never the Gov of Wisconsin, so that needs to be fixed.

    As is typical of so many of his ilk, they invoke the founding fathers but never really bother to actually read the documents they proclaim to hold dear. Hey Paul, how about you take five and actually read the Declaration of Independence?

    Posted by: Lets See | Aug 30, 2012 7:13:42 AM

  4. Oh please, if you're gonna quote his speech, then quote the entire speech. Ryan told it like it is, and said a bunch of things that the Obama-fanatics don't wanna hear.

    Posted by: ? | Aug 30, 2012 7:22:20 AM

  5. If rights come from God and nature, does that mean it was all part of God's plan that women not be allowed to vote until the 20s and that minorities not have access to their rights until the 60s?

    It makes more sense to say that no matter where you think rights come from, it takes a government to enforce everyone's access to those rights.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Aug 30, 2012 7:37:13 AM

  6. @? .... Yeah, why didn't they quote the part where Ryan complained about Obama not moving ahead with the Bowles/Simpson plan that Ryan himself voted against. Or, the part where Ryan blamed the credit downgrade on Obama when it was caused by the Republicans in congress screwing with the debt ceiling. Or, the part where he blamed Obama for closing an auto plant that was closed before he got into office. Or, the part where he wants to make drastic cuts to the social safety net even though it was social security benefits after his father's death that paid for his college education. Or the part where he continued to lie about Obama removing the work requirement from welfare even though the waivers provided to the states require a 20% increase in work from welfare. Or the part where he continued to lie about the 716 billion in Medicare savings that is also included in Ryan's budget plan. And on, and on, and on........ All lies, obfuscation and misdirection.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Aug 30, 2012 7:43:18 AM

  7. He says he believes rights are granted by God, yet he blocks rights to certain people, and, in some cases, even wants to take away rights that he says are granted by God. I guess we know where he ranks himself...

    And right on, Tim NC! You said it better than I would have, and saved me a lot of typing! :)

    Posted by: RHR IN TN | Aug 30, 2012 7:48:15 AM

  8. I suppose if rights come from God and nature, we can just throw out those little scraps of paper known as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    What Ryan is basically saying is that the US should be a theocracy. And whose God is he talking about anyway? Why his, of course!

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 30, 2012 7:51:19 AM

  9. Why is something that has yet to be proven (religion) controlling SO much of our daily lives? Seriously, religious people and religion consumes an unbelievably amount of public policy, our livelihood, and our society....YET IT HASN'T BEEN PROVEN. AT ALL. AT ALL!

    I mean anyone ever step back and go....this is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Aug 30, 2012 8:30:45 AM

  10. man, you Americans with your religion. sure our country has religious people, but they have a great way of keeping it private and personal. Reading these stories about the religious clan in America and I and many others wonder, how is it much different than the extremist of islam in the middle east? both want to control lives based on religious beliefs, all while discriminating and starting wars all based on a chosen belief.

    Posted by: Isaac | Aug 30, 2012 8:32:37 AM

  11. It's a nod to "Endowed by their Creator" from the Declaration of Independence. That was an argument against rule by King.

    Actually, political rights come from political power and wealth. You can't always be passive in a political society, as ACT-UP tried to warn.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 30, 2012 8:35:03 AM

  12. At 54, I honestly can't remember a time period where religion ruled our political arena as much as it does today. That includes the 60s. The religious fringe groups sent a meme to all religious people to be as loud, vocal, and bigoted as possible, coupled with paranoia that people were out to get religious institutions, and these religious peeps have turned into the very thing they claim they want to be fighting against: freedom attackers. You justify trampling people's rights and freedoms because your religion is sacred to you, and according to 99% of these religious elected officials, it HAS to be sacred to the rest of us too.
    Seriously, we're back to 1948 in this country.

    Posted by: 2Dads | Aug 30, 2012 8:35:29 AM

  13. Christianity, and it's extreme followers, will be the downfall of this nation. And you can mark these words. The religious right in this country, and their growing fundementalism WILL be the demise of this nation. Wait, watch and just witness it.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Aug 30, 2012 8:36:38 AM

  14. These Christian bible thumpers are seriously getting more crazy by the day. I mean, some of these soundbites I read from them on here TRULY are unbelievable...and then I click on the links and *they really said it* the hurricane business, and how they prayed the hurricane away out of Tampa, the business about Obama being the anti christ, the stuff about gays being placed on here by the devil to tempt society. Why are we as a country so fragile and sensitive to the emotions of militant religious folk? Why? I never got that meme and refuse to subscribe to brushing the ego of folks who are BATSH-T CRAZY. Seriously.

    Posted by: Michelle | Aug 30, 2012 8:40:30 AM

  15. We need more athiests to run for office. And you know what? you'd be surprised at the number of people in this country who don't believe in organized religion, and who identify as agnostic or athiest. And would proudly and pretty loudly endorse a viable candidate who was not religious.

    Posted by: J.J | Aug 30, 2012 8:41:48 AM

  16. A lot of it goes to Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts and the "moral majority" in the 80's. Previously, Kennedy, a Catholic, had to bend over backwards to assure the nation his religion had NO place in civil governance. But now....

    With Falwell and Roberts and many more setting up "universities" to indoctrinate youth, what we see is that there is an entire generation of milennials who have grown up COMPLETELY indoctrinated at every stage of their education that America should be a theocracy (and was founded as one).

    So although Atheism and AGnosticism are growing, the religious right is ALSO growing -- and unlike the left, who are fractured because they are trying to be a big tent, these Christianists march in goose step.

    It would also be amusing, if it were not so scary, how the Evangelicals have stopped hating the Catholics because they all realize they hate gay people and women more.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Aug 30, 2012 8:51:33 AM

  17. TimNC:

    Thank you. Ryan's delivery was so good that it frightened me about his potential appeal to undecided voters. But you've perfectly pointed out how much he lied. The Democrats will have to point out what a liar he is. They have to remind the voters over and over again that Ryan is a liar.

    Ryan and Romney are lying about their records; Obama and Biden can't.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 30, 2012 8:52:01 AM

  18. Well, Mr. Ryan just kicked the Constitution in the teeth. Why don't we just burn the document and just start stoning to death all non-Christians and non-heteros.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 30, 2012 8:53:14 AM

  19. Were you expecting him to praise Democrats and Obama? You'll hear plenty of that next week.

    Posted by: aaaack | Aug 30, 2012 9:00:02 AM

  20. Give it 5 years: if this dangerous pattern of Christian elected officials + tea party + Religious right continues, I expect homosexuality to be criminalized and all non Christian believers to seriously be shunned by society in a manner which can only be compared to a more mild version of Nazi Germany. Observe their speech and actions, that's the order we're headed.

    Posted by: King Lion | Aug 30, 2012 9:01:19 AM

  21. For the modern day Christian, it's not enough that they are Christian, they demand YOU be too. And treat their religion like the gospel they preach it is.

    Posted by: Star | Aug 30, 2012 9:02:02 AM

  22. I loved his imagery of the college graduate living in his mom's basement "staring up at his faded Obama poster".

    Ha! Bulls-eye.

    Posted by: Markus | Aug 30, 2012 9:03:35 AM

  23. What a useless bag of wind. If these nut jobs win this election the US is screwed in every possible way... OK the rich won't be screwed but everyone who is not obscenely rich is screwed. The sad and infuriating part is many won't recognize or admit that their small, family values gubmint has shafted them.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Aug 30, 2012 9:08:58 AM

  24. Yes, Art and Michelle, you are on it. Remember, anyone on a sinking ship that is about to drown, will grab at anything to survive. This is exactly what they are doing, grabbing at anything. But the lies are what is hurting us all. If they told the truth and let people think for themselves it would be much different.

    Posted by: DF | Aug 30, 2012 9:09:56 AM

  25. Ryan could be implying:

    (1) Atheists don't have the same legal rights as others. This is obviously false because an atheist man and an atheist woman are perfectly free to marry.

    (2) Our rights derive from the Christian Bible rather than the Constitution. Whenever someone says that our rights come from God or religion, the obvious questions is "whose God" and "whose religion"? When the Declaration of Independence says that "all men are created equal," that's not a reference to any religion or scripture, it's simply saying that our rights are something that human beings are born with.

    The Declaration of Independence goes on to state that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Many or most of the Founding Fathers were Deists, not Christians, so their concept of the "Creator" was not a Christian one. If the "pursuit of Happiness" means anything at all, it is living your life with your mate without interference from Christianist (and possibly closeted) nut cases like Paul Ryan.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderale | Aug 30, 2012 9:27:41 AM

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