Unalienable vs. Inalienable Rights

Our Declaration of Independence reads, in part:

“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 …”

Frequently we hear this passage quoted as inalienable rights.  What is the difference, if any?

I read a long treatise on this by a legal expert. He said unalienable rights come from God and because they are God-given they cannot be taken away, or, using Thomas Jefferson’s term, alienated from us. An alien has no rights in the kingdom where he does not have his official residence.  Hence, we are members of God’s original kingdom and the rights are ours.

Now as for inalienable; that means that human beings can take those rights away through war, fiat, or the practice of police action, but they are still our rights even though some agency has tampered with their administration. A nation which does not believe in God therefore may not be overly concerned with individual rights. In fact we see this in the news all the time.

We are told that there is no relationship of church to state but clearly this is not true. Religion and beliefs about God color and influence all our political decisions, perhaps more so today as they are publicly challenged.

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