The Proper Role of Government

Because citizens have a God-given, inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they also have a right to protect those rights. In order for citizens to prosper, they cannot spend their time constantly guarding family, fields, and property against thieves and robbers, so they join together with their neighbors and hire a sheriff. At this precise moment, government is born.

Individual citizens delegate to the sheriff their unquestionable right to protect themselves. The sheriff does for them only what they had a right to do for themselves — nothing more. The sheriff does not control how the farmers farm or how the parents parent. He doesn’t have that authority because it was not delegated to him. It wasn’t delegated to him because no citizen has it to delegate. No citizen has any inherent right to tell his neighbor how to farm or how to parent.

The job of the hired sheriffs of the State of Utah is to protect the citizens from thieves and robbers — those who would destroy their life or liberty. The job of hired DCFS employees is to take care of the children of thieves and robbers, to find them safe homes. It has no right to monitor and control law abiding parents. Too often our hired child protection agencies see themselves as Parent Police. That role is inconsistent with Constitutional government; it is a function of tyranny.

Because the citizens of the State have hired and authorized the child protection agencies, it is the duty of the citizens, through their elected representatives, to control those agencies and to fire them if they do not do the job they were hired to do.

A government is nothing more nor less than a relatively small group of citizens who have been hired, in a sense, by the rest of us to perform certain functions and discharge responsibilities which have been authorized. It stands to reason that the government has no innate power nor privilege to do anything. Its only source of authority and power is from the people who have created it. This is made clear in the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess, so the question boils down to this: What powers properly belong to each and every person in the absence of and prior to the establishment of any organized governmental form? A hypothetical question? Yes, indeed! But, it is a question which is vital to an understanding of the principles which underlie the proper function of government.

– Ezra Taft Benson

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Declaration of Independence

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 . . .

The Utah State Constitution

Article I Sec. 1 All men have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and protect property; to worship according to the dictates of their consciences; to assemble peaceably, protest against wrongs, and petition for redress of grievances; to communicate freely their thoughts and opinions, being responsible for the abuse of that right.

Sec. 2 All political power is inherent in the people; and all free governments are founded on their authority for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform their government as the public welfare may require.

Sec. 3 The State of Utah is an inseparable part of the Federal Union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.

Sec. 4 The rights of conscience shall never be infringed. . .

Sec. 11 All courts shall be open . . .

Sec. 12 In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel . . . to be confronted by the witnesses against him . . .

Note: Juvenile Court is separate from criminal Court. In Juvenile Court defendants are not allowed to defend themselves or to be confronted by the witness against them. Further, how can it be right to take children away from parents who have not been charged with nor convicted of a criminal offense?

Sec. 27 Frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government.

Note: It is time to measure our child protection agencies against the principles of Constitutional government and then to insist that our Legislature make corrections and that State agencies abide by the laws of the land.