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Negative Rights are Positive & Positive Rights are Negative

Bill-of-RightsI had a discussion with a 19 year old the other day about the LGBT agenda, which, while not shared by all LGBT people, is being championed by progressive politicians. Nothing enables a power grab more than the American public’s conviction that someone is being treated unfairly in society.

In spite of being a highly intelligent young man, raised in a Christian home, his every remark dripped with the kind of ground level brain washing that has taken place amid his generation by a consistent barrage of bumper sticker slogans that confuse common legal terms and sustain the fictitious narrative presented by media, government, and public school educational paradigms.

Of particular interest in our discussion, was his inability to keep track of what a “right” is and what a “right” isn’t. I had to keep stopping him every time he threw out the word “right” to ask him to define what he meant by “right”… as in “They have a right to this.” “They have a right to do that.”

I attempted to explain to him how important it is for him to define his every term when it comes to political and legal discussion, how important it is for him to understand how these terms (like public/private, right, freedom, equality, etc…) were being defined by those who penned our Constitution and our other primary documents of nationhood, and how these terms, rooted in centuries of the American sense of self, have been manipulated and altered at key points in our history in order to lay a foundation for a completely different kind of America.

Obama’s radical claim to fundamentally transforming America was not hyperbole… progressives have a plan and they have been implementing it step by step for over a century.

I began with the tension between natural rights vs. goods & service rights. It is the design of our founding fathers to create a republic in which the primary duty of government is to viciously defend the natural rights of its citizenry. I quote our declaration of independence.

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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 of 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”

The Bill of Rights was added to our constitution in order to illustrate what natural rights looked like, to limit the power of government to trample them, and to commission the government to protect them. We have freedom of the Press, freedom of association (and non-association as a natural outworking), freedom of speech, and religion, parental rights over our children, property rights, etc, etc, etc.

Natural rights are negative rights. The right to keep what one has and to exercise freedom within the limits of their domain. A natural right is the right to be free from interference so long as one does not violate the natural rights of another.

The primary duty of government, according to our very founding as a society, is to protect a person and his or her property from threats domestic, foreign, and governmental. Natural rights are recognized not given… they stem from man as the image of God.

The conflict of natural rights is the intersection of two or more people with conflicting interests in the exercise of their own natural rights. As one legal voice declared it, “The Right to swing my fist ends at the tip of someone else’s nose.” So long as one does not interfere with someone else’s natural rights, the government stays out of their affairs.

On the modern mind bending flip side… we have the idea of goods & service rights. Goods & service rights are positive rights. One is deemed to have the right to get stuff from other people. This is the opposite of our constitutionally recognized rights… The right to be vs. the right to have. Those who preach goods & service rights do not believe in natural rights, and usually do not believe in the existential source of those rights. Right to these folks stem from the good will of those in power.

You cannot say that one has the right to food, clothing, shelter, etc… without also saying that other people are responsible to provide you, unremunerated if necessary, for said food, clothing, shelter, etc… You cannot say that one has the right to be served, without also saying that other people need to be forced to do or pay for the serving.

I hope the conflict is obvious. You cannot defend both natural AND goods & service rights. They are in automatic conflict. My right to own property that has fallen under my power by labor or inheritance must be violated in order for someone else’s right to food, clothing, and shelter to be purchased. The Government has NO money. Everything that the government spends has been forcibly taken from someone else.

It is reasonable to expect a person to pay for goods & services they have received, but it violates natural rights to force a person to pay for goods & services that someone else receives.

Natural rights dictate that a person can do business or refrain from doing business with whomever he or she chooses. Association is a natural right. So, no matter what the reason, a person has a natural right to refuse to serve or provide goods to whomever for whatever reason… even if that reason is odious to others. To force a person to do business with someone (as is demanded in the conception of rights as goods & service rights) is a violation of their most basic natural rights as a human being.

The curse of the do-gooder is the myopic interest that he or she has in using the force of government to provide “good things” at the expense of everyone else for those whom the do-gooder thinks has gotten a raw deal in life … and often to the detriment of the person he or she is trying to help. This interest is myopic because its every pursuit is blind to the consequences of violating natural rights in the euphoria of doing good for others whether they want you to or not.

Now, once we have given away natural rights in order to force racists to do business with everyone, and once we have given away even more natural rights by forcing misogynists into doing business with women, and once we’ve gone even further and given away more natural rights by forcing the insensitive into doing business with the handicapped, and by forcing some to do business with those who can’t afford their goods & services (rent control), and by forcing the religious to participate in ceremonies that violate their core religious convictions… what’s left?

We face a world in which natural rights are on few people’s radar, in which the mass population is made responsible by governmental threat for the bad feelings of others, for the confusion of others, for the mental illness of others. We have politicians preaching that the very existence of religious condemnation for certain human acts is a violation of the rights of the LGBT community.

We have gone further than goods & service rights… we now claim that people have a right to be liked, a right to be celebrated, a right to trample upon the natural rights of others at every turn, IF and only IF they are part of special groups whom the do-gooders and power hungry have isolated for special treatment.

Natural rights, no matter how fuzzy some of the edges can be, are positive for society. They provide stability for the government and masses alike. It is a paradigm of personal responsibility.

Goods & service rights, no matter how much they stroke the egos of do-gooders, are a profound negative for society. There is no end to what the do-gooders or power hungry will decide is one’s rightful due from others. It is a paradigm of envy and lazy greed, a paradigm of entitlement, a paradigm of governmental oppression, a paradigm in which other people are made legally responsible for how I FEEL.

There is no rule of law less stable than that.

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