Sunday, July 30, 2017

What Is a Right?

Do we still have rights? What is a right, anyway? It isn't a law. Laws are made by governments, supposedly to uphold and protect its citizen's rights.

"A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity," according to Judge Andrew P. Napolitano. Rights are a natural part of our humanity. "Thinkers from St. Augustine to St. Thomas Aquinas, from St. Thomas More to Thomas Jefferson, from the Reverend Rd. Martin Luther Kng Jr. to Pope John Paul II to Justice Clarence Thomas"* all argued this to be true. These are the inalienable rights named in our U.S. Constitution.

And the founders of our nation believed that the role of government is to protect and preserve the rights of every individual. And the only way it gets the power to do that is through the consent of the individuals involved. At least that is the way it is supposed to be.

I'm not so sure that is the way things are now. Nor are the people at the top of our government in agreement with that philosophy of our founders. The government has become the micromanager of the people today. And, over time, the citizens have given them way more power than the founders ever wanted the government to have. We have defaulted to being taken care of rather than to be the caretakers of our own lives.

Think about it. The government determines what crops can be grown, what medications can be manufactured, the cost of many goods and services, where resources can be obtained, who can pollute the air, water, soil. There are government controls on so many things that a full list would take pages and pages.

So much of this control was in the name of protecting us. And to a point that is true. Yet the misuse of that power has created harmful situations and inflated prices. Somewhere along the line the country has gotten off track and is in a mess. Is it possible to clean it up? I don't know. Some days I believe it can. Other days I don't.

What do you think? If we all worked together we could make it happen. If we can bridge the divide we could work for a better world, starting in our own country.

*It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government is Wrong by Andrew P. Napolitano.

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