The Rights of Men

By GotDesign
This morning I awoke to the sounds of Bill Bennett's Morning in America. Dr. Bennett was absent and so the program was being hosted by Jerry Boyer (?). One caller stated that he believes that the Roadmap to Peace is a farce. Jerry dissented by asking if the Palestinians had a right to an independent state. To support his position, Jerry quoted 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 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....
At first, I tended to agree with Jerry. But the more I thought about it I realized that Jerry is wrong. The Palestinians do not have a right to an independent state. Why not? Because rights are not given, they are earned. Jerry Quoted the Declaration of Independence. Well, the Founding Fathers had to fight to secure those rights that they declared -- no one handed them those rights of which they so eloquently wrote. King George and the British Parliament did not confer those rights on the American colonies. In fact they resisted the colonies' efforts to secure these rights.

Even now, rights are not something that can be given. As I remember (and I may be wrong), the Palestinians have never asked for an independent state. The Palestinians were offered a state as a condition of peace. But what Palestinians truly want is the destruction of Israel. If the Palestinians have pursued statehood, it has been as a tool to be used to secure their ultimate objective -- Jewish destruction. The Palestinians have no right to an independent state without their standing to achieve that right.

The same goes for all "rights." What most people call "rights" are truly privileges. We don't have a right to privacy -- privacy is a privilege of our society. If individual privacy were to endanger the safety of the society, the government of that society would have the responsibility to curtail privacy in order to secure the safety of the people. Roman statesmen Marcus Tullius Cicero once stated that "The safety of the people shall be the highest law." Governments are established to protect its citizens and provide for an ordered society. The people have to wisely establish the rights of man through their governing bodies. The Founding Fathers asserted three general, non-specific rights of mankind within the auspices of the government of the United States -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Later, these same Founding Fathers further enumerated the rights of American citizens when they enacted the first 10 amendment to our Constitution -- also known as the Bill of Rights. And even these rights had to be fought for.

Let us remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Or more to the specific point I'm making -- there is no such thing as given rights. They are always purchased with devout struggle. And sometimes with blood.

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