No doubt you have witnessed in the past few weeks, months, or years, people from different groups wielding signs declaring their RIGHTS! They have a right to a living wage, they have a right to a job, they have a right to marry someone of their own sex, they have a right to a college education, etc. They are wrong.In these cases, the only real thing these people have a right to is their “freedom of speech.” No one has a right to a job, wage, education, or health care. Sorry guys. Modern American “education” has failed you. The only rights besides “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are stated in the Bill of Rights which are the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution which have one thing in common: they tell the government what it cannot do to the citizens.The Bill of Rights, not the bill of laws, not the bill of suggestions, not the bill of hopes, the Bill of Rights details what human beings have rights to, and every one of them limits what the government can do to people. Now, before your blood pressure sky-rockets, let’s look at the difference between rights and laws.When the American Founding Fathers gathered in a hot sweltering room in Philadelphia to create the Constitution, they merely had an idea. They wanted to create a land of freedom where men and women could govern themselves without a stifling or tyrannical government. This document was “inspired by God,” and the rights declared therein were created by God. This is easily verified by original documents written by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, etc.The United States Code calls them “organic law” which means they cannot be taken away by men. These laws are natural. Rights do not exist just because a politician, or president decrees it. Only in communist or tyrannical regimes is that a question, and it’s only a question because your natural right, your natural yearning, your independence, your freedom, has been taken away from you. The only thing a government can do is take rights away from you.If those are rights, then what are laws? Laws are made by men. Many laws are necessary to provide an orderly society but most man-made laws can easily be assessed as politicians denying your right by passing a law which then limits that freedom. If this is done in a democratic way, we can then work to reverse the law, but if you live in a dictatorship, you have no way to deal with it. You are forced to abide with no recourse.What about those who live in tyranny? If rights come from government, then people that live in communist countries don’t have the right to be free. They have the right to live in tyranny because their governments have created it. Their governments have written the laws that say, “You can’t be free, you’re not free, you can’t say what you want, you can’t think what you want. If we hear about it and we don’t like it, you’re going to prison.” Really? That’s a right for someone to live that way?It’s been fascinating to watch recent laws change on a whim in this country, almost completely circumventing congress or other branches of government. Those pushing a certain agenda change the narrative by screaming that it’s a right! Instead of working through the democratic channels and changing the law set forth by the very system they created!This is an easy sell because a large number of people are sadly ignorant of how the system works and so their immediate reaction is, “Yeah! It’s my right! Healthcare is my right! I can do what I want! You owe me a big house and nice car! I can abort my baby! It’s my body!” No you can’t. Those are not rights nor ever have been. Those are laws that have been enacted by a relative few in each case. There’s nobody that can grant that right. You’re not born with it. Besides, it can be taken away. If it can be taken away, it’s not a right. “I have a right to whatever I want.” No, you don’t. You have to earn it.
It’s right there in the Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Natural law. We’re born with this. They are the “right to life, the right to liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.” The natural state of the human being is yearning to be free and wanting to be happy. Is that not true, by the way? In this country you’d have to get people to really stop and think about it, because they accept all this, take it for granted, because it’s all they’ve known. Present this idea to most people around the world and they’ll never believe that such a place exists. Any wonder people risk their lives to get here at any cost?
You may not believe in God which is pretty much a definition of religion or what you believe, right? Do you believe it’s your right to worship the way you choose? Or do you believe that someone in government permits it? No human being can grant you that right. If you believe rights come from man, then someone could easily declare that everyone belong to the Church of Whatever right now. Fortunately, rights do not come from man.
No group of men will have the power to take away your freedom. The Founders wrote it so because they understood where our rights came from. It was brilliant. And from the beginning of the existence of the Constitution of the United States, it’s been argued over, because obviously to big government politicians, dictators and tyrants, etc., this is a problem for them. That’s why the United States is a target. People have been trying to defeat the United States forever because when we say it’s an “outpost for freedom,” “it’s a shining city on the hill,” “it’s a beacon.” It’s the only place. That’s why everybody wants to come here.
But as exceptional and special as this republic is, it is extremely fragile. The Constitution of this Republic will only work if people are righteous and good; capable of governing themselves. When they can’t and become unruly, flawed human beings step in and chip away at those freedoms under the guise that government will provide everything free and take care of you cradle to grave.
Hopefully you’re smarter than that. Read a little history and you’ll once again discover, it never happens. They can’t do it and they never will. They say they are just trying to protect you, your family and your health but many in government naturally succumb to greed, temptation, power, lust and all by-products of a bloated and out of control government. They may band-aid something temporarily, but here’s a better idea, America. Pick up those “unalienable rights you were endowed by our Creator” and go out and make a better future for yourself and your family. Be exceptional.
(Many of these ideas came from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on February 13, 2015. It was a brilliant treatise defining rights and laws. You can read the transcript in entirety from his website.)
A Fox News article titled Judge defies Texas law to wed same-sex couple under one-time order discusses a case out of Texas, where a judge ruled in favor of a same-sex couple receiving a marriage license. The ruling was made due to health concerns that may preclude the couple from seeing final resolution on the same-sex marriage question, the answer to which is expected this spring when the question goes before the United States Supreme Court.
Many aspects of this case could be discussed, including the place of a state court in such a matter, relative to federal courts, the sickening sentimentality that carried the decision, and the possibility of a precedent having been set for same-sex couples who can show exposure to a life-threatening condition. A review of the most basic principle that is violated by the same-sex marriage issue seems in order, as additional leaks in the dam spring forth in ever-greater abundance as the time nears when the U.S. Supreme Court will either shore up those leaks, or obliterate the dam.
Perhaps in no country throughout the entire span of the Earth’s history has as much been said about the rights of humankind that in the United States of America. A denial of the right to representation when confronted with increased taxation fomented, arguably, the Revolutionary War. Our Constitution, the ultimate law of the land, would never have been adopted without the guaranty of its first several amendments, commonly called the Bill of Rights. Since then, all kinds of rights have been championed and gain for citizens generally or specific societal demographics previously deprived.
Rights, however, represent only half of a two-part, mutually-dependent system. We see the second part, rarely, if ever, showcased in public discourse: the companion principle of obligation. What is the implication of the theory of rights and obligations when applied to same-sex marriage? If one has a right to marry, another has an obligation to recognize the marriage. Though plenty of emotional, ill-reasoned rhetoric supports the supposed right of same-sex couples to marry, nothing proves an obligation upon others to recognize the marriage.
Insisting on encumbering those opposed to same-sex marriage with an obligation to recognize the repugnant institution violates the most basic, God-given right of liberty. On commercial, religious, and even social levels, citizens everywhere would be obligated to suppress their individual consciences by dealing with those whom they morally oppose, leading America on to repeat the history described by General Douglas MacArthur:
History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster. (Manchester, William. American Caesar. Annapolis, MD, Naval Institute Press.)
I am grateful for marriages where religious conscience plays a major role in the relationship, and in the rearing of children. Such a blessed institution constitutes the fabric of society, and provides for all that is good that our nation enjoys, stabilizing and moralizing both nations and individuals.
Christian preacher and theologian Peter Marshall once counseled a couple whose family was being ripped apart by excessive materialism – “What good is a beautiful house,” he asked, “filled with expensive furniture, if there isn’t any love between those who live inside the house? What good are expensive clothes and beautiful adornment if there aren’t love, contentment, and happiness in the hearts of the people wearing the clothes?” (A Man Called Peter, 143). These are questions worthy of our consideration in today’s increasingly materialistic world.
The modern quest for more and better stuff has taken a toll on the family. Studies show that materialism is harmful to happiness, to marriages and to children. Of course, a certain amount of material things are necessary to our physical and spiritual wellbeing. And there are some very good parents – my own included – who have been blessed materially. However, the addictive covetousness of “keeping up with the Joneses” has caused many adults to work longer hours and to spend more time in consumption activities. In the process, they have neglected their families. Name brand clothing, fancy cars, restaurant food, expensive furnishings and electronic gadgets are poor substitutes for eating, talking, listening, recreating, learning, laughing and playing with our children.
One example of a place where this destructive cycle of consumption has taken its toll is the country of Great Britain. In 2007, a UNICEF survey of child welfare ranked Great Britain at the bottom of industrialized countries.
The study found that British children were two times more likely to have been drunk by the age of fifteen and significantly less likely to be in two parent families than children elsewhere. They were also more likely to have tried drugs and had one of the worst diets in the developed world.
A follow up survey in 2011 found that British parents were failing in large part because of obsessive materialism. They spent long hours away from home in the quest to provide more material goods for their family. Meanwhile, their children were being raised by poor parental substitutes – including television and digital media.
The author of the 2011 study, Agnes Nairn, discovered that: “While children would prefer time with their parents to heaps of consumer goods, [their] parents seem to find themselves under tremendous pressure to purchase a surfeit of material goods for their children.” This pressure left parents “too tired” for time together with their families.
The British are not the only ones trapped by compulsive materialism. Many of us in today’s world have fallen prey to the false notion that buying more things will increase our happiness. Have all these things that we are seeking bought us anything but a hollow empty place in our souls? We cannot buy true friendship. We cannot buy love.
What are some nonmaterial things that we can give our children and families? Here are some ideas from a list compiled by veteran teacher Erin Kurt, who asked students in classrooms across the world what they appreciated about their parents: “Tuck your children in at bedtime. Sing them a song. Hug and kiss them. Tell them that you love them. Talk with them privately. Discipline your children. Leave special messages on their pillows or in their lunch bag.” Your time will mean far more to them than anything you can buy. And it won’t cost you a dollar.