Saturday, March 2, 2013

More on Rights

Within the context of the founders' thoughts on life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, how many of the things we enjoy are truly rights?  Are they gifts of the creator or are they an invented right by someone (person or government entity) and dispensed as they see fit?
Do you have the right to own a wide-screen, hi-definition TV?  If you earned the money to pay for it, it's part of that pursuit of happiness idea.  If that's what makes you happy, you have the right to work and obtain it.  The masses, however may not have that same right.  Just because you have one does not make it a general right for all to have one.
How about a high-performance motorcycle? Again, if it's what makes you happy, go for it--as long as you can afford it.  However, the use of it may be restricted somewhat because the registration of the machine and the license to operate it are privileges, not rights.  They're privileges because they're operated in the public domain and there is no specific right to operate a motorcycle or other vehicle recognized to be granted by the creator.
Our rights to religious expression, speech, free press, assembly, petition and firearms however are absolute.  They have been both recognized as given by Divine grant, and guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.  They cannot be removed from us.
As the matter of rights is argued these days, remember what are truly rights and what are merely privileges.  We seem as a culture--and not just the United States--to have invented a lot of so-called rights that are not even close to being right; but, in fact, are downright wrongs. More on that another day.

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