Monday, May 18, 2015

Know Your Rights

Events that have taken place over the last few months have convinced me that American's do not know what their rights are. In early April the Governor of Indiana signed a religious freedom bill. Among other things the bill would protect citizens who refused to provide services to others based on religious principles. People were furious. The argument was made that the bill would be denying the homosexual community their "basic human rights." Some of  the  basic human rights they were referring to were the right to have a cake made, or rent a wedding venue, or have a wedding dress made. The story ends with the Governor signing amendments to the bill that would protect the homosexual community from such atrocities. Another story that came out around the same time involved the death of a baby girl. In the State of Colorado a pregnant woman was assaulted by another woman who tried to steal her baby. The baby did not survive. However because the child was still 2 months from the time she would have been born her right to life was denied. The attacker, who under any other condition would have been charged with first degree murder, was charge with assault and battery. It restored my faith in humanity when I read how America responded. Many were angry that the child was not considered a human life. However most felt that way because the mom had planned on bringing the child into the world, as if that was the deciding factor in whether or not the child should be given the status of human life. Along those same lines, this week the house signed a bill that would restrict any abortions after 20 weeks, except in the case of rape or incest. Among the many who are opposed to the bill is Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood. In response to the bill she tweeted the following observation "Put simply: a 20-week abortion ban lacks compassion and it lacks respect." Clearly she is only concerned about one of the parties involved when it comes to abortion. Lets be honest here, if we get to the real issue with most problems facing America today we find a question of rights. These stories that I have mentioned are not isolated incidents. Nor are they new to America. The issue of abortion has been around for decades. And though the gay rights movement is fairly new, the attitude of entitlement has been around for decades as well. In fact we can go back to the time of FDR who wrote a economic bill a rights. However I think it is safe to say that since those times Americans have twisted and distorted the idea of rights even more. We've come to the point where a right is nothing more than a phrase we use to try and incite passion and support for some random cause. We are in a dangerous place. Look at the current events listed earlier. In the case of Indiana and its religious freedom bill we have a situation where a set of made up rights have been used to destroy fundamental rights. Its easy for us to look at that story and say hey it isn't going to go that far your just being paranoid. In response I say, look at the story of abortion. A baby was brutally killed in a twisted and disturbing way and yet the law did nothing to protect that babies fundamental right to life because it was decided almost 5 decades ago that there was a right to privacy that superseded a humans right to life. That decision has effected millions of babies. And, as we can see by Ms. Richards comments, many don't even consider the babies fundamental rights in the issue of abortion. They have been forgotten.
If we as Americans are to understand and defend our rights we need to understand following 5 principles.

  1. A right is something that all individuals are entitled to. This one is pretty self explanatory though it does leave us asking the question "how do we know what we are entitled to?" In America we have a Constitution, including a bill of rights, that lists what we are entitled to. For example if we look at the first amendment we see that we are entitled to free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom to peacefully assemble, and the freedom to petition the government with our grievances. These are of course only five rights from a list of many rights that are protected under the Constitution. For those who may not know the "basic human right" to have a cake made for yourself is not mentioned. As a matter of fact the Constitution says nothing about citizens being forced to perform services for other citizens.....I stand corrected, the 13th amendment does mention something about the abolition of slavery. 
  2. Rights come from God. This principle is what makes rights so sacred. This is the reason that we go to war over rights. This is why denying someone their rights is such a serious crime. God has endowed mankind with specific rights. This is how we distinguish good government from bad government. If a government is suppressing and denying its citizen's God given rights they are a bad form of government that should be "thrown off". That was the reasoning behind the revolutionary war. It is important for us to understand that governments do not grant their citizens rights. Governments protect rights that already exist. The Constitution is an inspired document, but that is not where our rights come from. They come from God. The Constitution is the system created to recognize and protect those rights. 
  3. Rights are universal. If rights come from God then logic leads us to assume that he did not intend them for one set of people. All people have been given the same rights. The problem is that there are places in this world where people live under tyranny and they are not being allowed to enjoy those sacred rights such as life and liberty. 
  4. Rights do not evolve with the times. This principle may be the hardest for Americans to understand. RIGHTS ARE NOT SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED! If we look back at some of the stories I referenced earlier we see instances where the homosexual community has decided to make up their own rights. For example the right to define marriage in terms that are convenient for their life style choices. We also see an example of people, laws, and organizations that have decided there exists a right to privacy that supersedes ones God given right to life. This is a dangerous trend. Americans have taken the sense of entitlement to the point where they are now creating their own convenient rights and attacking those sacred God given rights of others. 
  5. One mans rights cannot interfere with another mans rights.  To put it simply, your right to swing your arm ends at my nose. 
The idea of rights has been distorted to the point that they are now being used to suppress whole groups of people. No its not the homosexual community that is being suppressed, its the Christians, the white males, the unborn, and many others. Why is it that we only hear the complaints of the homosexuals? They are not being suppressed or denied their basic rights. Why don't the Americans stand up for their rights? If you as an American do not know your rights you will loose them. Its that simple.

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