Today I wanted to address the second part of this comment left by Citizen Tom concerning the foundation of modern rights in the U.S. Specifically, I quote:
“What Jesus gave each of us is an “individual” choice, not a “we” choice. That is the basis for freedom of religion, and freedom of religion foundation of all our other rights.
The Bible says that we will answer to our Creator for the choices we make, and He insists we love our neighbors and respect their rights. That’s why Americans founded this nation upon God-given rights.”
Where are these rights coming from, anyways?
People talk about rights, people assert their rights, people want more rights. Rights are essentially things that people are entitled to that confer some sort of benefit (I’m really paraphrasing here). But where are they coming from? Is God giving them out like candy? Do we have them in nature? Is this all a theoretical construct that doesn’t matter? (continued here)
When we accord each other “rights,” we have to have a reason. Why? When you or I respect another’s rights, we must place a limit upon our own behavior. We must voluntarily forsake a course of action we otherwise might have taken. Moreover, if we go further and we decide to protect each others rights, especially the rights of those who cannot protect themselves, we must take upon ourselves a certain expense. Therefore, we need to be able define those “rights” that need our protection, explain why we consider these “rights” worthy of our protection, and understand how legitimate “rights” should be protected.