CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Congressional Issues 2014
GOVERNMENT
The Myth of "Rights"



Congress should:
  • neither protect nor invent our "rights," but simply fulfill its duties under the Constitution and Under God.
  • allow us to pursue happiness; don't steal it from others and give it to those who voted for you

Why do we speak of "the myth" of rights?

The Bible does not talk about our "rights," it talks about our duties.

Americans today think they have a "right" to a first-class education, a high-paying job, wonder-working healthcare, and just about everything they want -- all free, of course.

This "entitlement" mentality is bankrupting America.

The Bible says to work six days and rest on the sabbath, but modern Americans want to play six days and work only if absolutely necessary. We are disconnected from our calling to work and "exercise dominion" over the earth. We substitute military domination for Biblical dominion through service. We all want something for nothing.

Here are Your "Rights":

"Life, Liberty and Property"

Death

America's Founding Fathers said we have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

The Bible nowhere speaks of "rights."

  • Nobody has a "right to life."
    • We should be grateful for the gift of life.
    • The Bible says each of us deserves death.
    • Nevertheless, the Bible forbids us from killing each other.
      That's our duty.
  • Nobody has a "right to private property."
    • The Bible says God owns everything, not us.
    • Nevertheless, each of us has a duty not to steal or kidnap that which God has entrusted to others, and to be good stewards of the property God entrusts to each of us.

When people dutifully obey God's Law, Life, Liberty, and Property are secure.

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
John Adams

But,
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is "unconstitutional" to teach children in public schools that they have duties from God.

Kiss your "rights" goodbye.

It's that simple.

[top]

Now that the concept of a duty to God has been eliminated by the Supreme Court, what kind of "rights" can we expect?

According to the Supreme Court, a woman has the "right" to kill her unborn children.

Intense pressure has been mounted to declare that each of us have "a right to die."

You can be sure your "rights" will be protected.

Especially as a new generation of politicians realize how much money has been promised you by the previous generation of politicians in order to secure your vote.
Your entitlements will not be paid by the next generation.
You are disposable.

Non-Christian governments are responsible for the murder of nearly half a billion people in this century alone. Nearly 10,000 people per day have had their "right to die" exercised for them. Secular Humanists would like to add an additional 15,000 deaths per hour.

"Every Jew a wanted Jew"
— Planned Jewishhood Association

Get the picture?


The Myth of Rights

Our Duty: The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God

Rights: An UnBiblical Concept - R.J. Rushdoony


"Rights," Victimization, and "Mental Illness"

Americans are so acquainted with the rhetoric of "rights," that they believe they are entitled to whatever they want. If they don't get what they want, handed to them on a silver platter, they see themselves as victims. This pathological belief in "rights" is at the center of much "mental illness," including the "mental illnesses" created by the mental illness industry.

Those who have failed to succeed in America's material quest for unlimited wealth develop mental rationalizations for their failure. The government helps them in their rationalzations, in order to divert responsibility away from government policies which ensure unemployment and poverty for millions. The theories and therapies of the "mental health" industry have given Americans a new way of thinking about their lack of success and have turned our country into a therapeutic culture of the self—where the self and how it feels about itself are at the center of meaning. People from coast to coast have embraced a psychological mindset that puts emotional deprivation, woundedness, and violation of "personal rights" as the root cause of nearly every personal and social problem. This mindset has the potential to make everyone into a victim needing the services of the ever-expanding government and mental-health system. Fifteen years ago Charles Sykes wrote a book titled A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character, in which he says:

The ethos of victimization has an endless capacity not only for exculpating one's self from blame, washing away responsibility in a torrent of explanation—racism, sexism, rotten parents, addiction, and illness—but also for projecting guilt onto others.1

Sykes also says, "The impulse to flee from personal responsibility and blame others seems far more deeply embedded within the American culture."2 In fact, he declares, "The National Anthem has become The Whine," and explains, "Increasingly, Americans act as if they had received a lifelong indemnification from misfortune and a contractual release from personal responsibility."3

This "indemnification" is, of course, our "constitutional right." Those who have been denied their "rights" often turn to government to seek vengeance against the "evil corporations" or others who are found guilty of depriving them of their "rights."

1 Charles J. Sykes. A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992, p. 11.
2 Ibid., pp. 14,15.
3 Ibid., p. 15.
The preceding material was adapted from PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter,  May-June 2008, Vol. 16, No. 3


Lewis Napper, Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2000, was disgusted by the rhetoric of Hillary Clinton, and drafted a "Bill of No Rights."

"We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, deluded, and other liberal bed-wetters.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights."

ARTICLE I:
You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II:
You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone — not just you! You may leave the room, change the channel, or express a different opinion, but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III:
You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV:
You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V:
You do not have the right to free health care That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI:
You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII:
You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII:
You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience or lower your gas prices. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.

ARTICLE IX:
You don't have the right to a job. Sure, all of us want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE X:
You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness — which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

If you agree, we strongly urge you to forward this to as many people as you can. No, you don't have to, and nothing tragic will befall you should you not forward it. We just think it is about time common sense is allowed to flourish — call it the age of reason revisited.



From: "The Constitution is Dead Meat"

In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that it could not be said for certain that an admitted member of the Communist Party, holding positions in the Communist Party's National Committee and being the Party's nominee for Governor of Minnesota, was not "attached to the principles of the Constitution."[9] In addition to working for the violent overthrow of Representative Government, the Communist Party denies the legitimacy of private property. But that was no problem for the Court.[10] Through "New Deal" policies, the "organic law" of the Founders was completely overturned. According to such organic charters as the Declaration of Independence, human beings are created by God with unalienable rights to life, liberty and property. These rights exist prior to the State.
No longer.
The "theoretical basis" of property rights embodied in the "New Deal" was "far different from what it had been"[11] under America's organic law (e.g., the Declaration of Independence: rights given by God, unalienable by the State):

Property rights, from this [new] perspective, are simply a "delegation" from the state to the citizenry . . . . No longer did "property" represent some prepolitical "natural" entitlement; it now represented a public policy judgment by the state that, overall, important social values would be realized by leaving certain controls in the hands of ordinary citizens.[12]
To facilitate the State's unalienable rights over the citizens, "a fourth branch of government"[13] was established, which, to use Madison's words in The Federalist, "may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."[14] For years, government officials with strong Communist leanings had "urged differing degrees of governmental ownership and control of natural resources, basic means of production, and banks and the media of exchange, either with or without compensation."[15] Between 1913 and 1937, most of the planks of the Communist Manifesto had been put into law in America[16] by high-ranking government officials, including President Roosevelt;[17] officials who had taken a solemn oath to "support the Constitution," and therefore, according to the Court, officials "whose attachment to the general constitutional scheme cannot be doubted."[18]


Imprimis March 2008
“Limited Government: Are the Good Times Really Over?”
Charles Kessler
Editor, Claremont Review of Books
Charles Kessler is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books. His articles on contemporary politics have appeared in several newspapers and journals, including the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, National Review, and the Weekly Standard. He is editor of the Signet Classic edition of The Federalist Papers, editor of and a contributor to Saving the Revolution: The Federalist Papers and the American Founding, and co-editor, with William F. Buckley, Jr., of Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought.

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on January 30, 2008, during a five-day conference, “Free Markets and Politics Today,” co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series.

“Limited Government: Are the Good Times Really Over?”
Charles Kessler

Limited government, in the sense of constitutional government, is opposed to the political assumptions of the modern state, which arose after the New Deal. Those assumptions came largely from the political science of the Progressive era, whose proponents argued that the Founders’ limited government was an 18th century nostrum that was powerless to solve 20th century problems. From this point of view, natural rights were an immature form of genuine right, enshrining egoism and individualism that might have been necessary for frontier farmers but made no sense in an interdependent, industrial society. The Progressives believed that freedom did not come from nature or God, but instead is a product of the state and is realized only in the modern state. Far from being the people’s servant and, therefore, a possible threat to freedom—because servants can be unfaithful—the state is the full ethical expression of a people. The state is the people and the people are the state. This strange use of the term represents the Progressive attempt to translate the German concept of der Staat into American politics. America did not have a state theory of this sort until the Progressive era. Conservative and most libertarian anti-statism arose in opposition to this innovation; but too often, in recent years, hostility to der Staat has been confused with opposition to government per se.

To put the difference more plainly, consider Woodrow Wilson’s insistence that “living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.” In short, it is not the living Constitution, which is the ideal of Progressives and of modern liberal theory and practice. A fixed or limited Constitution would make sense if human rights are fixed and unchanging, as the Declaration affirms. But if human rights are essentially historical or evolutionary, then we should want a Constitution that is free to adapt and evolve along with them. In theory, then, no a priori limitations on government power—whether property rights, speech rights, or even religious freedom—can be allowed to impinge on government’s ability to bring about historical liberation. The old or natural rights have to be sacrificed in order to achieve the new rights of self-fulfillment. Thus for the Progressives—as for Barack Obama and many liberals today—political tyranny is no longer the ever-present threat that it was considered to be by James Madison or Alexander Hamilton. In liberal eyes, the real political threat is not tyrannical government or even the tyranny of the majority, but the well-connected capitalists, the “economic royalists” hiding behind the façade of democracy, who manipulate things to their advantage. Liberals ever since the New Deal have argued that limited government must become unlimited, in order to prevent the few from becoming tyrannical.

A new theory of the Constitution corresponded to this new theory of rights. FDR put it memorably in his 1932 Commonwealth Club Address: Government is a contract under which “rulers were accorded power, and the people consented to that power on consideration that they be accorded certain rights.” According to this view, we give the rulers power and the rulers give us rights. In other words, rights are no longer natural or God-given, but emerge from a bargain struck with the government. And it is up to liberal statesmen or leaders to keep the bargain current, redefining rights constantly—adding new rights and subtracting some of the old ones—in order to keep the living Constitution in tune with the times. Entitlement rights—rights created and funded by government—replace natural rights. Given this new relationship of people and government, we don’t need to keep a jealous eye on government anymore, because the more power we give it, the more rights and benefits it gives us back—Social Security, Medicare, prescription drug benefits, unemployment insurance, and on and on.


It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor  . . . .
— George Washington, 1789

[T]he happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality * * * * Religion, morality, and knowledge [are] necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind. . . .
United States Supreme Court, 1892

Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled
either by a power within them or by a power without them.;
either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man;
either by the Bible or by the bayonet
— Robert Winthrop, U.S. Speaker of the House, 1849


Thomas Jefferson balances Rights and Duties


next: Pursuit of Happiness



Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

9. The words of the oath of allegiance required for naturalization. Schneiderman v. U.S., 320 U.S. 118, 63 S.Ct. 1333, 87 L.Ed. 1796 (1943).  [Return to text]

10. Although it was a problem for Justice Felix Frankfurter, himself a naturalized citizen. Following circulation of a draft opinion in the Schneiderman case, Justice Frankfurter sent a note to Justice Murphy, who authored the opinion, suggesting that the headnote to the opinion in the official reports read:

The American Constitution ain't got no principles. The Communist Party don't stand for nuthin'. The Soopreme Court don't mean nuthin'. Nuthin' means nuthin', and ter Hell with the U.S.A. so long as a guy is attached to the principles of the U.S.S.R.

J. Howard, Mr. Justice Murphy: A Political Biography 315 (1968), cited by Levinson, above note 5, 144.  [Return to text]

11. S. Levinson, "Unnatural Law" (Review of C. Sunstein, The Partial Constitution) 209 The New Republic 40, 41 (July 19/26, 1993).  [Return to text]

12. Idem. See also Senate Doc. 43 (73rd Cong., 1st Sess.): "The ownership of all property is in the State; individual so-called ''ownership' is only by virtue of Government, i.e., law, amounting to mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State." Quoted in E. Schroder, Constitution: Fact or Fiction, 36 (1995).  [Return to text]

13. J. Freedman, Crisis and Legitimacy, 6 (1978).  [Return to text]

14. Quoted in A. Gulas, "The American Administrative State: The New Leviathan" 28 Duquesne L Rev. 489, 490 (1990). (With Madison's warning ringing in his ears, the author nevertheless supports the "New Leviathan.")  [Return to text]

15. Schneiderman v. U.S., 320 U.S. 118, 141, 87 L.Ed. 1796, 1811 (1943).  [Return to text]

16. M. Hendrickson, America's March Toward Communism (1987).  [Return to text]

17. J. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (rev. ed. 1956); A. Sutton, Wall Street and FDR (1975). (Sutton was a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.)  [Return to text]

18. Schneiderman, above, note 15. Justice McReynolds might have doubted it. Dissenting in an important case upholding flagrantly unconstitutional "New Deal" Legislation, he cried: "This is Nero at his worst. The Constitution is gone." Quoted by E.S. Corwin, Constitutional Revolution, Ltd. 46 (1941).  [Return to text]

I added the words "or lower your gas prices" to Mr. Napper's "Bill of No Rights"