Reporter goes viral for attacking Christians who believe rights come from God — and the responses are glorious

News & Politics

Politico reporter Heidi Przybyla claimed on Thursday that Christians who believe rights are derived from God are “Christian nationalists.”

Speaking on MSNBC, Przybyla claimed that former President Donald Trump is surrounding himself with an “extremist element” of Christians, whom she identified as “Christian nationalists.”

That’s when things got weird. According to Przybyla, there is one belief that all so-called Christian nationalists share.

“[T]he thing that unites them as Christian nationalists — not Christians, by the way, because Christian nationalist is very different — is that they believe that our rights as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority. They don’t come from Congress. They don’t come to the Supreme Court. They come from God.”

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The “problem” with believing that rights come from God, Przybyla claimed, is that “men” misapply “so-called natural law” to oppose progressive issues, like abortion, sex education in schools, IVF, and gay marriage.

There is an obvious problem with Przybyla’s argument: the Declaration of Independence. Philosophical debates about “rights” aside, the founding document is clear that rights are not derived from man like Przybyla claimed.

The Declaration of Independence declares:

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.

The Founding Fathers, then, were aware of the dangers of a government being empowered to control rights: if the government giveth, then government can taketh. But if fundamental rights are ultimately derived from God, no government can take them.

Przybyla comments went viral on Friday afternoon and triggered an avalanche of mockery:

  • “Our rights as human beings don’t come from the Constitution, the government, Congress, the president, or the Supreme Court. They are inherent. … This belief that rights precede government—regardless of whether you believe in God—is fundamental to what it means to be an American,” former Rep. Justin Amash said.
  • “Is someone’s ignorance and religious bigotry showing?” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked in response.
  • “What the state gives the state can take away. What God gives the state takes at its moral peril. Sincerely, The prophets of old,” Jordan Peterson responded.
  • “Human rights come from God. That’s why all human beings have innate value and no human entity has the authority to strip them of those rights.

    That belief doesn’t make millions of Christians around the world Christian nationalists,” AND Campaign president Justin Giboney responded.

  • “We are all Christian Nationalists now,” pastor Tom Ascol responded.
  • “I guess those truths just aren’t as self-evident as they used to be,” National Review writer Dan McLaughlin mocked.
  • “This is what secularists want you to believe. If your rights originate from government, then the government is ultimate and statism becomes the dominant belief.

    But God is ultimate and human rights come from God,” pastor Grant Castleberry pointed out.

  • “Imagine believing your rights come ‘from Congress,'” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) mocked.
  • “This is a civics failure, a talent failure, an intelligence failure, a historical failure, an ethics failure…shall I keep going?” professor Andrew Walker pointed out.
  • “I can only suppose that this is what comes of liberal elites living in a bubble. They speak with supreme confidence only to reveal spectacular ignorance–of history, philosophy, the beliefs of the people they regard as their intellectual and moral inferiors and hold in contempt,” professor Robert George responded.

Przybyla responded to the controversy by gaslighting, claiming she did not say what everyone heard her say. And yet, she somehow also managed to double down.

“While there are different wings of Christian Nationalism, they are bound by their belief that our rights come from God,” she said on social media. “If you are Hindu, Jewish etc, this might help you understand the next part of my point, which is they are using this for a man-made policy agenda.”

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