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Rights vs. obligations

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It seems that we, as a nation have become confused as to the meaning of what a “right” is and is not. People are running around with their hair on fire screaming that they have the “right” to use violence to oppose speech which they find objectionable. They march in protests for the “right” to indiscriminately murder the unborn. Folks are claiming it is their “right” to be taken care of by the government for anything and everything from healthcare to education.

We have an obligation to ourselves and our posterity and to the future of our place in the world. We are better people than pink hats, and foul language. We are more honorable than white sheets and raised fists.

Let’s be clear:

Rights

Definition: (from Merriam-Webster)

1 :qualities (such as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval

2 :something to which one has a just claim: such as

a :the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled•voting rights
•his right to decide

Rights, as they pertain to American citizenry, are encapsulated in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That’s it. Pretty simple…or one would think. How then, did things become so muddled? How did the simplicity of basic human rights become so bastardized that we become embroiled in the idiocy of whether a football player must stand for a National Anthem or not?

Because, freedom of speech. Which is a right. What a concept. For the sake of clarity, let’s make a simple list. These are a few rights which we, as Americans, enjoy and should comprehend as part of the freedoms we enjoy.

  • You have the right to say, think, write or film whatever is on your mind.
  • You have the right to peaceably protest anyone or anything with which you disagree.
  • You have the right to lawfully purchase and protect personal property.
  • You have the right to marry whomever you wish.
  • You have the right to lawfully keep and bear arms.
  • You have the right to worship how when and where you wish.
  • You have the right to vote for the person of your choice in any election for which you are legally registered.
  • You have the right to choose where you wish to live, which school you wish you or your children will attend, which trade or career you will pursue, and how you manage your health choices.
  • You have the right to use the legal system to seek remedies for wrongful actions under the law.
  • You have the right seek assistance from the government.
  • You have the right to be active and seek change in your community.
  • You have the right to seek happiness in whatever form is lawful.
  • You have the right to be a horrible, terrible, angry, miserable, obstructive, whining bigot. (this is not recommended pursuant to the immediately preceding goal of happiness, however.

This list is not exhaustive and certainly only scratches the very veneer of the many rights we enjoy. Seems straightforward enough, correct? Well……nope.

You see, there are caveats. These are called obligations.

Obligations

Definition (again from Merriam-Webster)

1 :the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)

2 a :something (such as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action•made an obligation to pay their children’s college expenses

b :a debt security (such as a mortgage or corporate bond)

c :a commitment (as by a government) to pay a particular sum of money; also :an amount owed under such an obligation•Unable to meet its obligations, the company went into bankruptcy.

3 a :a condition or feeling of being obligated•felt an obligation to vote

b :a debt of gratitude•returned the favor as an obligation

4 :something one is bound to do :duty, responsibility•countries in which military service is an obligation
•fulfilled their familial obligations

We have all heard the phrase, “freedom isn’t free” or, if you prefer, the scripture, Luke 12:48 “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

Rights in America are like that. Because we enjoy more rights in the civilized world than any other nation, we are obligated to temper those rights with responsibility. Let’s take another stab at our list…tempered with its corresponding obligations.

  • You have the right to say, think, write or film whatever is on your mind, providing it does not infringe upon another’s right to live without threat of violence to life or pursuit of livelihood. In this category are harmful practices like KKK cross-burning, child pornography, ISIS propaganda etc.
  • You have the right to peaceably protest anyone or anything with which you disagree, but do not have the right to commit violent acts or destruction of property in the name of protest.
  • You have the right to lawfully purchase and protect personal property but do not have the right to commit felonious acts upon said property.
  • You have the right to marry whomever you wish in accordance with state and federal laws.
  • You have the right to lawfully keep and bear arms. Note the keyword here is “lawfully” and that under no circumstances is anyone guaranteed the right to own and use a weapon solely for the use of violence against another.
  • You have the right to worship how when and where you wish, but religious beliefs may not take precedence over what is lawful and in accordance with city, state and federal laws. Tenets which advocate violence are in strict violation of American law.
  • You have the right to vote for the person of your choice in any election for which you are legally registered. Again, note the word, “legally” as it is the only means by which true and fair elections can be certified.
  • You have the right to choose where you wish to live, which school you wish you or your children will attend, which trade or career you will pursue, and how you manage your health choices. In no way is the government either responsible for these choices or at fault for them if an individual makes a poor decision regarding them. This is a true right and the crux of freedom.
  • You have the right to use the legal system to seek remedies for wrongful actions under the law but, are obligated to understand the law and its confines. The law is not an absolute remedy for every situation. Understanding our government, its branches, its authority and its limits is a huge obligation of every citizen.
  • You have the right seek assistance from the government. This assumes that every citizen has done the best he or she can for themselves and has used whatever personal resources available. The government is not a bottomless well from which an individual is entitled to dip from in perpetuity. This has never been it’s intent.
  • You have the right to be active and seek change in your community, but DO NOT have an explicit right to force upon others your personal beliefs, ideaology, morals, or judgement thereby infringing upon their own rights.
  • You have the right to seek happiness in whatever form is lawful. If breaking the law and encroaching upon the rights of others is what makes you happy, you have the right to seek professional help 🙂
  • You have the right to be a horrible, terrible, angry, miserable, obstructive, whining bigot. (this is not recommended pursuant to the immediately preceding goal of happiness, however.) If this is how one intends to exercise their rights, please do so elsewhere. Thanks!

What has been tragically forgotten in the chaos of America in the last couple of years is the beautiful and pure gift of true rights. They have been horrifically abused and assumed as entitlements and grievances and excuses.

Does a football player have a right to kneel for the anthem? Yes. Does a fan have the right to boycott the NFL because of it? Yes. However, the football player also has an obligation to his team and owners and fans to represent his uniform in a positive way. And a fan has an obligation to supporting his team and the traditions of American football. But, really, this is trivial stuff. There is a bigger picture when we are discussing rights vs. obligations.

In an election, voters have the right to vote. They also have the obligation to know the candidate and take that vote seriously. In a protest, the protesters have the right to protest what they believe is an injustice. They also have the obligation to understand the law and the justice system and to respect the rule of law. In a Constitutional Republic such as ours, we all have the right to be involved in our governmental processes, to effect change, to challenge injustice, to bring awareness to wrongdoing. We also have an enormous obligation to do so without further damage and or destruction to the very fabric of our nation.

We have an obligation to ourselves and our posterity and to the future of our place in the world. We are better people than pink hats, and foul language. We are more honorable than white sheets and raised fists. We are wiser than Twitter and Facebook and more loyal than Bradley Manning or Beau Bergdahl. We are not so fragile that a few statues or memorials will intimidate or the need for safe spaces and therapy will prevent us from pursuing and protecting the real rights which our men and women in uniform fight for. Quite simply, the greatest right we hold, is the right to be called “An American” and that is the one which needs to be valued and defined more than ever now.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Leroy buhler

    September 25, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Way to go

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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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Culture and Religion

Man fined £1,000 for outdated sense of humor

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Man fined £1000 for outdated sense of humor

Jonathon Van Maren, a contributor for LifeSiteNews, recently stumbled across an article in the UK’s Edinburgh News about a construction worker who was arrested for “pointing and laughing” at a biological male who was dressed as a female (transgender woman).

[Author’s Note: It is impolite and unkind to point and laugh at others. This article is not an endorsement of such behavior.]

As Van Maren explained, a construction worker named Graham Spiers was walking with a group of friends. The group pointed and laughed while passing a transgender individual who, suspecting that his appearance had become the subject of ridicule, telephoned the police.

Spiers was arrested five day later.

Sherriff Robert Fife scolded Mr. Spiers’s sense of humor and actions:

Transgender insanity: Police now jailing people for laughing at men in women’s clothes

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/transgender-insanity-police-now-jailing-people-for-laughing-at-men-in-womenSheriff Robert Fife also piled on, informing Spiers that, “Your offensive comments were not funny at the time and are not funny now. Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behavior that comes from a different era has no place in today’s society.” Fife then told Spiers that in addition to the cash he had to pay to the biological man for laughing at him, he also had to pay an additional fine of another five hundred pounds.

Graham Spiers was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 for his actions “from a different era,” 500 of which was paid to the complainant.

Of the actions by police and the court in this instance, Van Maren opined:

It is disgusting enough that law enforcement would arrest and charge someone for this triviality. That alone indicates that freedom in Scotland is truly dead. But the fact that law enforcement then lectured Spiers on being a throwback from a different age (that different era being about a decade ago, for the record) and telling him his children should be ashamed of him? And that Spiers was expected to cower and listen to this tongue-lashing from his betters so he could get re-educated and realize that men could now become women and that laughing at their attempts was forbidden by law? That should absolutely repulse any liberty-loving person and terrify everyone who values freedom.

My Take

Pointing and laughing at others is unquestionably unkind. I am repulsed at the thought of such outward meanness. However, that this behavior so would be considered illegal and result in one’s arrest is punitive at best, and is undoubtedly a waste a valuable time and resources. Furthermore, the punishment in this case is brazenly excessive.

This is yet another instance of big government run amok. The Founders knew the dangers of big government. It would be prudent of us to heed the Founders’ advice, lest we find ourselves in the position of Mr. Spiers: subjugated beneath the arbitrary boot of “benevolent” governmental authority.

 


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Culture and Religion

The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

No, I’m not a hate-hoaxer, but I’ve been against the President to varying degrees for over three years now. Before he officially won the GOP nomination in 2016, I opposed him because I felt he would do too much damage while delivering only a moderate amount of good policies. He wasn’t as bad as John Kasich or Jeb Bush, but we had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as better candidates. Nevertheless, he won the nomination, prompting me to spend the final leg of the 2016 election without a horse in the race. I didn’t like the idea of Trump being President, but under no circumstances did I want Hillary Clinton to be President, either.

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After he won, I became a cautious but hopeful watcher. While we worked on alternatives to bring limited-government federalism to the forefront of local, state, and national politics, I took a case-by-case stance on the President himself. When he did well, I praised him. When he did poorly, I criticized him. This stance has remained until this day, though there have been times when I was more supportive or more critical, depending on the policy discussion of the day. Tax and bureaucratic cuts – good. Tariffs and bump stock bans – bad. The recent cave on the border omnibus – very bad. Most foreign policy moves (leaving Iran deal, leaving Paris accords, moving embassy to Jerusalem) – very good.

Unfortunately, it seems many on the left have been unwilling to recognize even the remotest possibility anything the President is doing is good. What’s worse is that some have been so aggressive in their desire to prove their point that they’ve pretended to be victims for the sake of getting their “victims’ perks” of love and affection from their peers while painting anyone wearing a MAGA hat as bigoted and hateful.

Thus, the anti-MAGA hate hoax was born and it’s been so prominent over the last two-and-a-half years, one must wonder how mainstream media and Democrats became so gullible that they fall for it every single time.

Andy Ngo at Quillette put together a comprehensive list of hate hoaxes that leftists have perpetrated to paint the President and his supporters as racists. It’s absolutely stunning when you see the magnitude of the hatred – THEIR hatred – that makes them willing to tell bald-faced lies just to prove the movement they oppose is as bad as they think it is.

I’ve had ideological disagreements with nearly every presidential candidate (let alone every President) since I became an adult. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement as long as one is willing to not be blinded in one direction or the other. There are plenty who blindly follow President Trump to approximately the same degree that supporters blindly followed President Obama. The herd mentality seems to have become the way of the political world in America for our last two presidents. But that blind devotion is simply an annoyance. The blind hatred that drives people to commit these hoaxes is far more dangerous.

It’s likely when the details are fully revealed regarding Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax, it was driven more by a narcissistic desire to advance his career rather than pure hatred for the MAGA crowd or the President, but obviously the latter hatred played a role in his decision-making process. This type of action is never acceptable. We have enough outrage in America. There’s no need to manufacture even more for false reasons.

It’s time for the unhinged left to stop assuming every MAGA supporter is racist and start asking how the actions of those on their side of the political aisle drove massive amounts of people to support President Trump. Perhaps then, they’ll realize the hatred is coming mostly from them.

 


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