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Culture and Religion

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

A guide to classical liberalism

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A guide to classical liberalism

The modern interpretation of the ideology known as “liberalism” is usually associated with the progressive left. Despite the roots of true liberalism – individualism, Natural Rights, and liberty itself – the modern understanding of liberalism has been skewed to make people think more of illiberal politicians like Bernie Sanders instead of Constitutional originalists like Antonin Scalia as liberals.

This 27-minute video does a fine job of breaking down the historical ideas that brought about classical liberalism and the men who brought them to light. It also accurately points out that equality of opportunity for individuals is necessary for a modern society, thus it was this mentality that brought about the end of slavery and the promotion of women’s rights.

From John Locke to James Madison, from the thinkers of Great Britain to the founding fathers of the United States, this video from The Academic Agent brings us through the history of classical liberalism.

For a brief introduction we posted a shorter video earlier:

What classical liberalism is, briefly

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/12/classical-liberalism-briefly/The progressive left and the Democratic Party have undergone many transformations over the last century. They’ve masterfully spun American understanding of language and labels to the point that history has been in a constant state of being rewritten to conform to their machinations. One of the most perverse examples of this is how they now claim the mantle of “liberalism.”

Sadly, those who embrace Natural Rights, limited government, and individualism have been forced to amend our label as liberals to become “classical liberals” for the sake of escaping confusion. Most Americans today would assume if we call ourselves “liberals” that we must be big fans of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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Culture and Religion

Fine-tuning and incredible calibration points to creation over random chance

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Fine-tuning and incredible calibration points to creation over random chance

Homicide investigator J. Warner Wallace is familiar with looking for tampering. His job makes him look for things that don’t fit. At his core, he is forced to ask questions about the various situations he investigates in order to see where the evidence points.

When he’s not catching bad guys, he’s a Christian apologist. In this role, he utilizes the same skills he’s honed over the decades as an investigator to demonstrate why it makes much more sense to believe in creation than a randomly generated universe.

The author of Cold-Case Christianity started off as a skeptical atheist, but as he investigated deeper, he soon realized it was impossible for the secular worldview to be correct as it pertained to the origins of the universe and life on the planet.

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Culture and Religion

Leftists keep crying wolf: How ‘racist’ has lost all meaning

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Leftists keep crying wolf

The Left needs to start coming up with real arguments instead of relying on the crutch of name-calling.

Nick Kangadis , @TruthOfChicago of MRCTV makes the point that Leftist name calling has destroyed the emotional impact of certain words, leaving them without any practical debating points. Not to mention that a fair amount of time they are merely projecting their maladies on their opposition.

Does the action of being called a “racist” mean anything anymore? You’d think for being people that constantly talk about how tolerant and inclusive they are, the Left sure are hellbent on removing any weight actual racism carries, among other labels they like to arbitrarily place on people. The funny part of the whole thing is that the people who always cry racism seem to be the biggest racists.

Rules for the rational: Never substitute name-calling for a real argument

It’s one thing to frame the debate with a label or proper term, it’s quite another to simply use pejoratives without basis in fact.

We use the terms Leftist or Socialist-Left because those are the proper terms for those people. Conversely, we eschew the terms Liberal or Progressive because they are false descriptors of the Left. Some have tried to argue that the two ‘L’ words of the same length are interchangeable when that is not the case. Leftist are of collectivist bent, while Liberals are individualists.

Similarly, the vaguely defined term ‘Progressive’ runs counter to the post-modernism of the Left. The term national merely relates to or is characteristic of a nation. By the same token, the moniker ‘Liberty grabbers’ for Leftists describes their true nature in that they are no longer advocates of Liberty – despite their ongoing exploitation of the term‘Liberal’.

This is not the case with the Left, they have the unfortunate tendency to use pejoratives such as ‘Racist’, ‘Sexist’, ‘Fascist’, to excess instead of utilising real arguments. Presumably, one is supposed to be figuratively set back on their heels defending against these types of baseless allegations. The danger for the Left is these words have become a poor substitute for rational debating points, not that they ever had much of those in the first place. After all, their best argument in favour of collectivism is that it’s either never been tried before or it’s being tried everywhere.

The takeaway

A rational argument is far better than those worn out pejoratives that are usually based on information they don’t have. In most cases, one cannot know if they fit into those pejorative categories. But that never stopped the Left from using them anyway. The Left’s tactic of projecting the words ‘racist’, ’sexist’ ,’fascist’ has become both sad and amusing. Their desperation in using the follow-up tactic of circular logic in applying those words is also becoming obvious to everyone.

As those words lose their emotional impact from excessive overuse, it will become clearer to all that the Left has no real arguments in favour of it’s socialist national agenda. But most likely it’s racist, sexist or fascist to notice that.

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