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Principle 4

We believe it a violation of the Constitution for government to deprive the individual of either life, liberty, or property except for specific purposes as listed below.

The specific purposes are:

  • Punish crime and provide administration of justice;
  • Protect the right and control of private property;
  • Wage defensive war and provide for the nation’s defense;
  • Compel each one who enjoys the protection of government to bear his fair share of the burden of performing the above functions.

Government may deprive one of life, liberty and/or property ONLY as punishment to ensure the life, liberty, and property of others.

“Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish a goal? If I do have such a right (to defend one’s self), then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right (take one’s property) as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me.” – Ezra Taft Benson, “The Proper Role of Government”

As in the nature of addiction, poor choices lead to a restriction of freedom. Likewise, a man cannot expect to be free when in violation of others’ rights to life, liberty and property. Punishments for crime and our Nation’s defense are protections levied by just laws which insure these freedoms for all.

The Principles of Liberty