24 Oct Fundamental Right or Fundamental Wrong
October 24, 2012
From The Desk of Carol Soelberg:
One of the deceptive tools frequently used by the folks who would like to see our traditional family culture rewritten is to take well meaning words or phrases that appealed to the basic goodness of most people and attach unsuspecting and unappealing meanings to them.
For example, “reproductive health care” is something all mankind would want for women around the world–except when it means abortion on demand. Tolerance is a virtue to be espoused by all–until it is only one directional towards the politically correct.
A fundamental right is something we would fight for all to possess until the term is used as the justification for ending another person’s life. Melissa Anderson helps set the record straight by defining what fundamental right really means, so that we won’t be confused or concerned when it is attached to a fundamental WRONG!
President, United Families International
“Fundamental Right” or Fundamental Wrong
I absolutely love when people attempt to argue that abortion is a fundamental right. Clearly these people have not read the political theorists that acted as the basis for American Democracy–or for that matter, worldwide democracy.
But I have. I’ve studied with Mill, walked through the state of nature with Locke and wrestled with the Leviathan. I have found that “Fundamental Right” is not a term to be thrown about loosely.
Most political theorists start out in the State of Nature. How were people before governments? What rights come naturally to the human race? These are fundamental rights. These are natural to the state of mankind. Fundamental rights are rights which governments cannot confer because they occur naturally.
Take the fundamental rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Life. Liberty. Pursuit of Happiness. The pursuit of happiness, the pursuit because a government can neither confer nor deny the right to attempt to be happy. Attempted happiness comes naturally to people according the natural inclination of humanity. Are men and women not naturally seekers of joy? Governments do not make them so. Thus it is a natural, fundamental right.
Life also, a fundamental right, a right endowed by the very state of being. A right naturally derived. A government cannot confer life because it is beyond the scope of their power or authority. Likewise, a government cannot take away life except under the most egregious of circumstances. Liberty is the natural ability to be, to become, to think and believe. Governments do not confer personal thought or personal belief. These occur naturally. They are fundamental rights.
To put this in perspective, think of the human body.
The many parts of the body are natural. Feet and hands are naturally occurring. But what of clothing? Some articles of clothing serve as a necessary protection to the naturally occurring hands and feet. Others serve as useless but colorful accessories. Others serve only vanity. None come by right of birth. None are endowed simply by the act of living. Hence, there are natural, fundamental rights and there are other laws. Some serve as necessary protection. Others are accessories. Some serve only the pride of humanity.
Beyond life, liberty and attempting happiness, there are other fundamental rights, rights which are conferred by the very state of being. One fundamental right is the right to direct the teaching of one’s own children. This is a naturally derived right. Human beings instinctively teach their own children after their own thoughts and beliefs. A person, without government, in a state of nature will teach and instruct his own offspring. So back in the state of nature, where fundamental rights were ever present, a person lived, thought, pursued happiness and joy, joined social groups (otherwise known as assembling), worshiped Deity according to the dictates of their consciences and brought up their children to think and hunt and gather. Each of these are natural, fundamental rights.
This is why I think it’s funny when people call abortion a fundamental right.The right to live; the right to bear children and raise them; these come naturally, in a state of nature, before governments are introduced. There is no inverse. No right to die. No right to kill.
There is another aspect of a fundamental right.
Fundamental rights are personal in nature. I, singly, alone, have the right to live. It is personal to me. Fundamental rights are not shared rights or group rights, but individual rights, collectively gathered. I have the right to express to my child what I think of the world. This is my fundamental right. I have the fundamental right to attempt to be happy. I have the fundamental right to breathe as long as my body allows it. None of my fundamental rights impede or interfere with the fundamental rights of another person’s fundamental rights. Nothing is a fundamental right that impedes the fundamental rights of another person. My right to swing my fist ends where another person’s right to not be punched begins. I have absolutely no fundamental right to do harm.
And all this is why I laugh when abortion is called a fundamental right.
How is abortion a fundamental right where Life is? The two cannot coexist. Life is the fundamental right. Abortion is not. But thinking and theorizing and hypothesizing don’t get society very far.
I urge you to actively protect your natural, fundamental rights. Share your views unflinchingly. Create for your children and grandchildren a world where Life truly is the founding Fundamental Right.
Melissa Anderson is a lawyer in San Antonio, Texas. She is the mother of seven crazily adorable children and an author of children’s books. In her spare time, Melissa volunteers extensively with Court Appointed Special Advocates educating the community on issues related to child abuse and neglect.