Saturday, January 17, 2009

A fitting post for Inauguration day.....

Our Constitution spells out the American form of government. 'An interesting experiment' it has been called, but I like to think it's far more than that. We live, not in a Democracy, but in a Constitutional Republic. That means we have rule of law behind our government, and limiting it. Those laws are based on inherent human rights as recognized in our bill of rights. Not Granted, but recognized. The rights are a natural part of being human, have always been there, and can not be separated from us. Governments and our fellow humans can fail to recognize our rights, can ignore them, can assault them, but they can't take them away. We can be punished, taxed, arrested, jailed, and put to death for engaging our rights, but they can not be taken away. They are ours as long as we hold them close and don't give them away. Some would have us sell or surrender our human rights, and place ourselves willingly into slavery.

That is something I will not do.

Brigid has written a masterful piece on our Constitution, and our grand experiment.

As to the "Pursuit of Happiness". No where in the words of our founding fathers did it say the "right to happiness". Only that we have the right to pursue our own happiness, to engage in self sustaining activities, to build up a sweat chasing whatever it is that is our dream. We have the freedoms to do what is necessary to support, further, and daily savor our own life; freedom to do so by our own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to our neighbors, a right means that our actions should impose no harm or obligation on them, they are our actions for our lives. If your dream is to stay home and watch a brand new TV all day that is fine, but that that doesn't mean that I am obligated to buy it for you.

I suggest reading her whole post. It's a collection of words that should ring true through history.

She stole the thoughts from my mind, before I could form them, and put them together far better than I could dream of doing. Go read it.

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