Sorry, Politico: You Don’t Get to Rewrite the Declaration of Independence  

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Politico reporter Heidi Przybyla, a finalist for journalism’s Pulitzer Prize, thinks she knows the Christian faith better than practicing Christians—and, for that matter, the Declaration of Independence.

In an appearance Friday on MSNBC, Przybyla said “Christian nationalists” aren’t to be trusted because, in her words, they don’t believe their rights come from any human or governmental institution, but from God.

Here is what Przybyla, a national investigative correspondent for Politico who was a Pulitzer finalist in 2023 for Supreme Court reporting, said:

The one thing that unites all of them … as Christian nationalists, not Christians by the way, because Christian nationalists is very different, is that they believe that our rights as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthy authority, they don’t come from Congress, they don’t come from their Supreme Court, they come from God.

Well, news flash, Heidi: Most, if not all, traditional Christians believe that our rights come from God, not from any other entity or human or government institution.

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But let’s take this a step further. The Declaration of Independence, one of America’s founding documents, states where our rights come from.

The second sentence reads: “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.”

It couldn’t be plainer. Our rights don’t come from people, politicians, social credit systems, or talking heads attempting to rewrite history. They come from God.

Somehow, our Founders had the wisdom and foresight to know that this truth would be questioned again and again. So much so that they thought it was critical to make it the subject of the second sentence of the document declaring the United States of America to be an independent country.

Yes, Benjamin Franklin’s writings questioned the divinity of Christ. But about a month before he died, Franklin wrote in a March 1790 letter to theologian Ezra Stiles that it was a “question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now.” He maintained that our rights and freedoms come from God.

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men,” Franklin’s fellow publisher, John Webbe, wrote in 1736 in Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette, “but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”

John Adams, who became our second president, held that the bedrock of everything the Founders did was taken from Christianity.

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity,” Adams said. “I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

Benjamin Rush, another signer of the Declaration of Independence, said that the rights written into the founding documents came straight from God.

“I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament,” Rush said.

I honestly hope that Przybyla made her gross mischaracterization out of ignorance. It is no secret that the debate over whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation is a hotly contested one, despite what the Founders said in black and white—even Franklin, who wasn’t entirely convinced of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

But talking heads on TV don’t get to define what Christians believe, let alone what the founding documents of our country say.

We all know they are trying their best to rewrite American history. We absolutely cannot let them get away with rewriting our religion, too.

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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