Rights and Responsibility

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I hope people really understand what a “right” is. If you can’t understand why the same word would be used to say “so-and-so has a right to be king over England”, then you don’t understand what the word really means.

A right is something you are entitled to, that other people must give you, by virtue of your existence. The logical reasoning behind rights is always shallow. Logic doesn’t justify rights. We claim rights to liberty and life the same way kings claimed rights to the throne: God gave us our rights, and so we have them. Anyone who disagrees, can face the sword in a test of who is right by military might.

A king who has a right to a throne is not necessarily a king. He needs to secure his position, oftentimes by politicking, and occasionally by killing the right people, and too often by waging war against his own people. It is a bloody affair. So, to, our rights are not secure unless we exert our own powers to secure them. We are no more free by virtue of our rights than a king is king by virtue of his. Without the hard work and concentrated effort, our rights are rights in name only. How many Americans talk about the rights they have, but never lift a finger to exert them? They are kings who are not king.

The Catholic Church today has declared war on the US Government. If you cannot see that, you are blind. They have said they will not comply with any order by the government to provide birth control and abortion services. They have said they are willing to fight to preserve their right to not provide services that contradict explicitly with their religious beliefs. I pray that when push comes to shove, people will realize the Catholic Church is ready to kill to protect their right to live according to their belief. That will help people understand how rights really work.

Are you ready to oppose foreign powers, oppose your government, oppose the majority of the people in the US, and fight and kill to defend your rights, just as a king would?

Of course, we must be wise. Kings who have a right to the throne are usually patient in making their move. After all, if they do not make their move at the right time in the right way, they will be just another cousin who tried to steal the throne.

A king who secures his throne by exerting his rights is not permitted to do anything he wants. He must act in the best interests of the people over whom he is king. If he abuses his power, then he loses his right to be king. God takes his right away, and gives it to another. So, too, our rights are not the rights to do anything we please. If we abuse our power, and abuse our position and noble position, then we can lose our rights. Like a king in exile, we too can end up with no rights at all. Or dead.

This is a key that many libertarians miss. Your right to liberty is not the right to abuse your body. If you damage your body, the natural consequence is that you have no liberty at all. Your right to free speech is not the right to corrupt public morality. Your right to property is not the right to destroy that property wantonly. When you abuse your rights in this way, you are in danger of losing them all. That’s why we have laws that protect people from themselves. Consent is not all the is needed to do something; it must also be in the best interests of the people around them.

God never gave us the right to create, distribute, and view pornography, or participate in extra-marital sexual relations, or to bear false witness against each other, or to use the Lord’s name in vain, or worship false idols. These are not rights. We cannot do them and expect good things to happen to us.

The King has a duty to protect his subjects and create justice where there is none. If he lives up to his responsibility, he is celebrated as a wise and noble king. If not, then he loses his right to be king. So, too, our rights come with responsibilities. We must make more of ourselves and the people around us. We must secure happiness for us and them through our good actions. We must act responsibly.

America wasn’t founded on the idea that we can do what we want; quite the opposite. America was founded on the idea that God gave men rights so that they could be happy by obedience to God’s commandments on how to use those rights. When we fight and kill to protect our rights, we are always justified. When we are honest, hard-working, and keep our eyes on God, and faithful to our spouses, we are blessed with unprecedented wealth and military power. We are in danger of losing all that if we abuse our rights and do things that are irresponsible. We are in danger of losing our rights altogether if we do not correct our course swiftly.

We have no right to pleasure, just as the king has no right to do whatever feels good. Quite the opposite: we must render service to our fellowman, we must work and work some more, and cross ourselves in every thing contrary to the will of God. Life is not about having fun, life is about finding happiness. Pleasure and slothfulness and abuse of our rights does not lead to happiness. Only God can give us happiness.

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8 Responses to “Rights and Responsibility”

  1. demo kid Says:

    Again with the idea of murdering people whose ideology opposes yours! Are you truly obsessed with butchering your opponents in political debates?

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      Absolutely. If they disagree with my political ideology that I have a right to life, a right to liberty, a right to my property, and a right to self-rule, then out come the guns, and I’m going to make holes.

      If you’re not willing to fight to protect or assert your rights, then you’re no better than the peons and peasants in the countries where the government makes the rules for the people, and the people have to obey.

      Is this that hard of a concept? Some things are worth more than living.

  2. demo kid Says:

    Yet again, I truly enjoy it when you condone the murder of police officers and members of the armed forces for your own purposes. Shows your true colors.

    If you’re not willing to fight to protect or assert your rights, then you’re no better than the peons and peasants in the countries where the government makes the rules for the people, and the people have to obey.

    Great! Well, when you come to murder or imprison people for adultery or alcohol use, better come fully armed to take away those rights…

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      You’re quite a character!

      Are you saying that police officers and members of the armed forces exist to suppress my rights? If that were the case, they would be targets of physical violence. Since that is not the case, they aren’t.

      Or do you believe that they are tools of the totalitarian state, bent on eliminating our precious “rights” to smoke dope, take other’s property and prevent people from meeting together?

      • demo kid Says:

        If you’re advocating murder to resolve issues about birth control, I’m not entirely certain that I’m the “character” here.

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        Who said I am?

        Or do you believe that abortion is a violation of the right to life? If it is, then why would killing the murderer not be morally unjustified?

        I’m asking questions here. You need to answer them for yourself.

      • demo kid Says:

        Bringing your abstract thought into the real world means that if you decide to kill those in the government that are opposing you, you are looking to murder politicians, police officers, and anyone else with an opposing point of view.

        If you don’t believe this, then you’re just full of hot air.

        But hey, I’ll turn this back to you… should vegetarians murder meat-eaters? Wouldn’t that be morally justified?

      • Jonathan Gardner Says:

        Yes, I will kill those in government or anywhere else who attempt to take my rights away, particularly my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Hasn’t every American sworn a similar oath to themselves? Or does having a right mean that people are free to trample on it and you won’t care?

        Here’s the rub, I believe that it’s not necessary at this time to kill anyone in government, except for any traitors who we try according to the constitution, or those enemies that congress declares according to the constitution. Even if a person abuses their power and oath of office, the measures I can take to remedy that are spelled out clearly in the constitution, and the methods whereby I redress my grievances is also clearly spelled out. Voila! Problem solved, I don’t need to go around raising mobs to storm the castles every time government does something I don’t think respects my rights.

        Should vegetarians murder meat-eaters? Murder is wrong, and eating meat is ordained of God, so no, they should not.

        But to put it the way you meant to phrase it, let’s suppose a vegetarian believes it is morally wrong to kill animals to eat them and that the proper punishment for doing so is death. If such a person believes that, then in their moral universe, yes, it’s right. Which goes to show the absolute critical importance our assumptions about what is right and wrong (our religion) is, and how important it is that we all share some basic assumptions (a state religion, so-to-speak), and how important it is to enforce orthodoxy to that religion by means of power of the state. (I’m going to let you write a vehement response so I can correct your misperceptions because you probably won’t take the time to read what I actually wrote.)

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