Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interfering With Rights

"I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no interferes with any other men's rights."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

I hear the word "right" from people who probably can't even define it. "I have the right" to do this or that. So much of what I hear is claptrap.

In this country, we believe our rights to be endowments from God, and unalienable, which means that they can't be separated and we can't pick and choose which to protect and not to. It seems to me that God is a fairly permanent fixture and a right endowed in 1776 (or 1789 when the U.S. Constitution was ratified) would still be a right today, despite some radical (read that enlightened) court definition.

True rights don't come and go. Remember the "right" to own other people? Or to be "separate but equal?" Or the "right" to be bussed to school? All those things, and more, were enlightened court definitions! But NOT rights! How come those aren't "rights" anymore?

I think that a right is something that I enjoy simultaneously with others, and my enjoyment thereof costs nobody else. My right to enjoy freedom of speech or assembly does not remove or cost anyone else's right to do so, or to have to provide for me.

The "right" to health insurance, or housing, or pharmaceuticals, or whatever other pet political trend, cannot be extended to everyone unless the money to extend that "right" to some people comes directly from other people! One person's enjoyment costs another! That's not a God-given endowment, it is a welfare program. And not a very-well administered "right" at that!


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