Peter, appeal to authority is
a very cheap tactic. You nowhere show how in principle the concept of
individual rights derives from the Bible. You yourself stated that you think
this concept is based on "the image of god," and when asked to
explain what this term means, you blanked out.
It is clear you are desperate
here by posting all these quotes here. I could provide just as many quotes pointing
to the opposite position, but would you accept those? Of course not,
since you simply want there to be a god, and you want to claim credit to this god
for things which your religion in fact did not make possible. Some
personality making a quote does not prove anything. If anything, it may indeed
prove that the individual you are quoting was simply just as misguided as you
are on the issues in question.
And what Peter ignores most of all is that, while
the rights and freedoms of individuals are vital to a nation's progress, these
alone are not sufficient. They are the necessary condition of a nation's
wealth, but not the cause. What's important is what people do with
those rights and freedoms. The cause of America's wealth is precisely what
Peter's religion condemns most vehemently: Man's selfishness. It is
the profit motive which has lead to America's unprecedented wealth
and success as a nation of free individuals, and this virtue can in no way be
justified on the basis of Christianity, which endorses the ethics of
self-sacrifice, not self-interest, self-promotion, and self-pleasure.
So, you can cite all the quotes you want, Peter,
but unfortunately in doing so, you miss the larger point completely.