Sunday, March 26, 2023
March 26, 2023

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Letter: Where do rights come from?


Judith Anderson stated that “Your inalienable rights come from your creator, not the government” (“Freedom requires responsibility,” Our Readers’ Views, Jan 21). Where, exactly, are these rights granted; they are not mentioned in the Bible, but only in the man-made Constitution of the United States, which she uses extensively to “prove” her claim.

“Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Government can take away rights it has granted; it has already been done in the case of Dodd v. Jackson, revoking the hard-won rights of women to obtain necessary health care for pregnancies, since the 1960s, using anachronistic laws to fashion support for the repealing opinion; and Heller v. the District of Columbia, which made us all less safe in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness by ignoring the opening restrictive clause, thereby making firearms far more common than the Second Amendment had originally intended. So much for Originalism.

As Walt Kelly’s Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

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