Monday, October 20, 2008

WHENCE RIGHTS?

During the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, he was asked where rights come from.

I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed with his answer, which I thought was a bit vague and maybe a little evasive.

So, where do rights come from?

The writer of The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, thought he knew.

He wrote: "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
"

Look at what he said.

"...the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them..."

Did you notice his reference to nature's God?

He went on to say:

"...all men are created equal..."

According to Thomas Jefferson, men are created.

Nothing can be created without a creator.

If I build a model airplane, I have not created anything, I have only rearranged what already existed; ie: balsa wood, wire, covering, etc.

Then Jefferson said, "...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."

He did not believe that rights come from government, but from the creator.

Jefferson made clear, "...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

For several generations, now, our government has gotten it wrong.

Our government cannot confer rights upon us, we give our consent to the government as to what it can and cannot do.

Barack Obama was asked whether he thought health care was a right or a privilege.

BO stated that in America, health care is a right.

NOT SO!

Neither he, nor anybody else, can establish a right simply by declaration.

Rights come from God.

They do not come from Congress, from the Senate, from the Executive branch or the Judicial branch of our government, they come from our creator.

The first right mentioned by Thomas Jefferson is the right to life.

Science has a working definition of life:

Living organisms are made up of one or more cells, can grow and develop, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and have a metabolism. This list of characteristics was made by scientists after carefully considering what would be included, and excluded, by these characteristics. Using this list, viruses are not defined as living organisms.

When a child is conceived, he/she begins to grow, develop, cells reproduce, he/she responds to stimuli, takes on nourishment and gives off waste (has a metabolism).

At conception, the developing baby has all of the scientific characteristics of life.

He/she is also distinctly human.

When you check his/her DNA, you find that it is unique.

It is neither the same as his/her mother's DNA nor his/her father's, rather it is his/her own, identifiable in the DNA laboratory as belonging to this child and none other.

The developing baby floats in his/her mother's womb like an astronaut in space, connected to the mother by an umbilical chord which allows nutrients to get to the baby, but prevents the baby's blood from mixing with his/her mother's blood.

He/she is a marvelous creation given the right to life, that same right to life that is mentioned in Jefferson's Declaration.

In our abortion oriented society, about 15% of abortions fail, resulting in the baby being alive at the procedure's end.

In Illinois an abortionist faced with this situation could (and usually did) simply leave the child on a cold, steel table or in a closet bin and allow it to die.

Twice, as an Illinois State Senator, Barack Obama voted NOT to disallow this practice, once because it did not have the same language as a proposed similar federal law, and once because he did not want to "subject the mother to unnecessary stress!"

Once, as a United States Senator, Barack Obama voted "present" when a bill to stop this practice came up, which is the same as voting against it, that is, in favor of allowing doctors to continue allowing babies to die on the table after a failed abortion.

Do you really want a person with this level of disregard for life to sit in the nation's highest office?

The second of Jefferson's list of rights is liberty.

Liberty comes from the creator.

All mankind craves liberty.

Liberty is the freedom to reach one's potential without undue interference from the government.

The Constitution of the United States of America is written and designed to limit the scope and power of the federal government.

It is not written to limit your rights.

It can't do that. Your rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God.

The federal government may not abridge your right to speech, religion, assembly or the press.

Liberty has always come with a price.

Sometimes that price is death, sometimes it is sacrifice, and sometimes it is diligence and perseverance, but there is always a price to liberty.

Barack Obama believes that the federal government may, at its whim and without the consent of the governed, usurp your right to liberty if the situation warrants it.

For instance, the Constitution protects your right to own a firearm. Barack Obama would restrict that right.

Do you want a person to serve as president if he believes he can, by virtue of his office, recommend the removal of certain of your rights?

The final right listed by Jefferson is the pursuit of happiness.

Not happiness, but its pursuit.

Our is a land of opportunity.

Many believe ours is a land of entitlement, but it is not.

However, any person can become anything he/she wants to become if he/she is willing to do what it takes to become what he/she wants to become.

That includes both those "born with a silver spoon in his mouth," and those who are born in poverty.

American history is replete with examples of people from every strata of life working hard enough to achieve a part of The American Dream.

Nobody is entitled to The American Dream, but everybody is entitled to go after it with every fiber of his/her being.

Barack Obama believes that the government should take a portion of what successful people have worked to achieve and give it to those who have not spent the same effort of productivity.

Is that really what you want of your president?

If so, may God have mercy on you...you will need it.

14 comments:

Satyavati devi dasi said...

We just had an enormous discussion on what constitutes a right and whether health care is one of them over at Patrick's.

So in the interest of brevity, rather than go into all of it again I'll just point you in that direction.

But I would point out that the same men who wrote that all men are created equal owned slaves, which would say to me that they were referring to white Christian men, and not those of other races or religions.

And certainly not women.

I'm just pointing that out for the sake of clarity, because I think it's a very important point that gets missed a lot. It doesn't invalidate the DOI; it just gives a bit of an insight into its writers.

I'm no feminist. Just reading what they wrote.

Joe said...

satyavati devi dasi: It is true that Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence, owned slaves.

It is also true that he was probably NOT thinking about the slaves when he wrote the DOI.

Just as the inspired writers of Scripture did not understand everything they wrote, so TJ might not have known where his writings would lead.

With or without his personal knowledge, he wrote a mighty truth: Mankind is created and his Creator has endowed him with certain rights.

That he owned slaves, or that Anericans took way too many years to emancipate slaves and women does not change the truth.

We are created with rights endowed to us by our Creator, including, but not restricted to, life, liberty and the persuit of happiness.

Nightmare said...

"the same men who wrote that all men are created equal owned slaves"

This mind set was common place all over the world at this time and for 1000's of years prior to our new and burgeoning country. I like to think they DID know that all men were created equally and if they [enslaved people] would have the opportunity and wherewithal to take the christen white men as slaves that they would take it, hence making them as equal.

Course I could be talking outta my hind end.

I do think that you're giving your invisible sky friend a little too much credit for "creating" man. Last I checked "god" assembled man of the dust of the earth...much like one would "assemble" a good biscuit recipe, only instead of dust and dirt I would suggest flour. And then when it is done baking, some butter or maybe honey and jam....agian, suggestions, I don't want to force my religious cooking beliefs on anyone! :-)

Joe said...

nighmare: "...invisible sky friend..." I don't have one of those, perhaps you could tell me about it.

I would never force my religion down your throat.

The very idea of being in your throat is pretty unappitizing.

After He "assembled ole Adam and Eve, he breathed into them "the breath of Life."

That's pretty remarkable.

Life is one of the rights confered on man by the Creator.

Frasypoo said...

Hi Joe
Wonderful,wonderful post.
People forget that God is almighty.

This is my first presid.elections so am watching very closely!

Thanks for stopping by.I live in the south of GA-few hrs away from Warner Robbins

Joe said...

frassypoo: Thank you for your visit. During my high school years I had many forays into south Georgia: Valdosta; Cairo; Savanah; etc.

Glad you're involved in the process!

shoprat said...

And many who hate America today are still involved in slavery. Slavery is still legal in some 3rd world countries. Following the logic of Jefferson's words we eventually outgrew slavery but those who reject Jefferson's ideals still allow slavery. It takes a while for an ideal or principle to permeate society and fully blossom. The seeds of thought that eventually freed the slaves were planted by a slave-owner which is an intriguing irony.

mainstreamavi aki bukaky said...

Now, Joe Politico, this question is addressed to you, my man.

If our rights ultimately derived from God (no mention of Christ btw) whose God is giving away these rights?

If all men are created equal, and have certain inalienable rights, I don't see any basis for distinguishing between faiths. A muslim is equal to a Christian, according to our founding documents, and our Founding Fathers.

Wouldn't you agree?

After all, what distinguishes Christians is that they believe that Christ was the only Son of God and died for our sins, and that if you do not beleive that you will go to hell. It's that simple, and that black and white.

And they believe this belief is not held in the back of their minds hidden from everybody, they believe that you must publicly profess your faith for it to be meaningful.

But any mention of Christ is conspicuously absent from any of our founding documents.

So, when Barack Obama says that he is willing to negotiate with our enemies, he is saying,

"We are all subject to the judgment of God. We must do our best to work together because he is not on one side or the other, he is Lord over all."

He is not saying God is on our side, he is saying we are all subject to God's will.

Something very consistent with our founding documents, wouldn't you say?

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

Your post was very well written and highly readable. Great job.

Tapline said...

Joe, Outstanding post. I also enjoyed the comments. I always thought this nation was founded on a Judeo-Christian foundation. Not Buddism, Islam, Shintoism, or any other religion. We did and do however tolerate all religions. However as America progressed we forgot where our God was and have blasted him out of the public's eye, in fact we can't even mention him in our public schools or place of employment. Little wonder he has begun to turn his back on us, as a nation.....I ramble stay well....

Joe said...

mainstreamavi aki bukaky: No, I don't agree, which I think you already knew.

The creator Thomas Jefferson wrote of in the DOI would have been understood to have been the Creator for whom the Pilgrims of the Mayflower and those who followed them trusted in.

There are not many gods, no matter what you may or may not believe. There is only one.

He is not capricious, He is not inconsistant and He is not unknowable.

Having said that, let me assure you (if you need my assurance) that in this country the founders made sure that you could believe whatever you want to believe without interference from the federal government.

In the First Amendment they made sure that our lawmakers could not make any law that abridged your right to embrace whatever religion you want and that you can exercise it freely.

No real Christian would try to condemn you to hell or anyplace else, for it is not in our power to do so.

If you choose to go to hell, you may certainly do so without my help.

God would not "send" you there, for He is not willing that anyone should perish.

But He won't stop you, if that's what you want to do.

BTW: Having seen your comment in the context of comments on Xavier Onassis' blog, I understand why you are here, and trust that you will exercise respect and decorum in your visits.

Thanks.

mainstreamavi aki bukaky said...

I think, Joe, I'll say whatever I want to, in whatever way I see fit.

mainstreamavi aki bukaky said...

and you did not address my central questions. I didn't say anything about multiple Gods.

Joe said...

mainstreamavi aki bukaky: So what if I don't address any of your central questions? Where is it written that I have to answer to you?

I have news for you: THIS IS NOT A FREE SPEECH ZONE!

On this blog I RULE!

On your blog, you rule.

But not on this one.

If your tone gets nasty (and I'll be the sole judge [Ooo, the J word] of what is nasty), I will simply delete your comment.

You may not like it, but that's the way it is.

You are not required to like it, but that's the way it is.

I do not seek your endorsement or to make you happy.

I write this blog to espouse MY opinions.

Your opinions are welcome, but if your tone is nasty, or if you resort to name calling, or if you use language that I, and I alone, think untoward, I will delete your comment.

You can then go and complain to all of your buddies, most of whom, I notice, don't understand why certain language is not fit for civilized people, as I'm sure you don't, to your heart's content.

I don't care.

Get it?

See, how you see fit to say something on this blog doesn't count.

Only what I see fit to let on it counts.

Am I clear?

On this blog (and only on this blog) I am the big boss, the last word, in charge, the royal potentate.

Wanna dialog, we can do that, but don't go telling me how I can or cannot address what I want or don't want to address.