"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner himself commit some act that amounts to forfeiture."
-- William Blackstone
"The very highest duty of the States, when they entered into the Union under the Constitution, was to protect all persons within their boundaries in the enjoyment of these 'unalienable rights with which they were endowed by their Creator.'"
-- U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875)
True north on the American moral compass is pointed directly at the equal protection of the God-given rights of every individual: "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..."
-- Tom Hoefling