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Thread: ...certain unalienable Rights...

  1. #1
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    Many times I have read those wonderful words penned by our Founding Fathers and paused to reflect upon the rights we naturally enjoy. Lately a few readings have assisted me in further understanding our beloved rights. Here is my summary.

    Unalienable rights are considered such simply because they are given to us by our Creator. We have no ability to surrender, dispose of, or give away these rights - they are gifts given to us by God. If you are rolling your eyes now, squirming in your seat, etc. keep in mind that the moral basis is dependent solely upon the belief of Divine origin.

    Quite naturally we all have an inseparable duty to God, the giver of our rights, to "keep secure and use soundly" these rights and responsibilities while respecting those of our fellow citizens. We have a moral duty that much like the rights, can not be abandon, delegated, surrendered, etc.

    No government, no individual, or groups, or organizations, can possess any sort of "just power" that violates and of these God-given rights. Government can not morally or justly interfere with our rights. Why are so many fellow citizens, law enforcement officers, and specifically, elected officials, ignorant with respect to our rights and duties?

    Do they not believe in God?

  2. #2
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    Excellent post, sir. I agree with it all, except that I believe people CAN give up their rights if they infringe on the rights of another. However, they cannot take these righs from their posterity.

  3. #3
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    Let me add just a touch of personal conviction.

    No matter the source of the particular right under discussion, that right isonly as valid as the other person's belief--that is to say, as valid asthe other guy's respectfor that right in you or for you.

    It really comes down to respect. Down to the other guy's willness and desire to respect that right in you or for you.

    If he doesn't, then you have to decide whether to persuade, or perhaps force, him to respect it, or endure the effect of his refusal to respect it. Or perhaps just walk away.

    Education will pay a big part in it. Most of the rights in the Bill of Rights are not obvious. It requires the context of potential government abuse to give them meaning.

    Do they not believe in God? They don't believe in their fellow man.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  4. #4
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    Citizen wrote:
    Education will pay a big part in it. Most of the rights in the Bill of Rights are not obvious. It requires the context of potential government abuse to give them meaning.

    Do they not believe in God? They don't believe in their fellow man.
    I disagree. I think "don't take other people's stuff," "don't kill people," "don't enslave people" is pretty self-evident.

    You don't have to believe in god, as I do, to believe in rights. You simply have to beleive in self-ownership.


  5. #5
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    Renegade wrote:
    No government, no individual, or groups, or organizations, can possess any sort of "just power" that violates and of these God-given rights. Government can not morally or justly interfere with our rights. Why are so many fellow citizens, law enforcement officers, and specifically, elected officials, ignorant with respect to our rights and duties?

    Do they not believe in God?

    "Government" is a contract between people for their convenience, and as a means of asserting the "collective will of the people". In the last quarter of the 18th century it was a novel idea that a "government" would exercise "just power" as opposed to "absolute power".

    Having lived under absolute power and recently overthrown their former government and governors, the Founding Fathers attempted to keep their promise of not replacing one absolute power with another. They established, after a few false starts (see Articles of Confederation), what they hoped would be a workable contract between the government and the people who were to be governed. It is important to remember that the contract was drawn up and offered by the government, and not by "the people". "The People" got a chance (sort of) to vote on whether or not to accept the contract.

    One of the big fears during this period was that "the government" would expand and usurp the rights of the States, and then the rights of "the people". This fear came from experience - the history of all previous governments was that they expanded until they were so overwhelming that they actually became overwhelmed, and then were toppled by barbarian hordes invading from the weak points of the borders.

    Beginning in the early 1800's, and accellerating in fits and starts ever since (usually under the guise of "homeland defense") the government has used the argument of the sheer size of the federal system offers economy of cost and scale to take over what were supposed to be obligations of the States. In the mid-1900's the federal government "came to the rescue" of the individual States by asserting economic control over matters that had previously been issues between individual persons (think commerce and banking).

    With no individual State able to oppose the federal government (aftermath of the Civil War made sure that would not happen again) the federal government went on expanding without any possible control against it. Not even Huey Long could fight the federal government - so instead he learned how to use is overwhelming size and stilted bureauracracy to steal from it. No single "reform" candidate can sucessfully take on the federal government - they would fare worse than Don Quiote tilting at miriad windmills. No "reform" platform can oppose the federal government, as it is the bureauracracy and not the political offices where the real power now lies.

    Perhaps it is because we fell away from the Founding Fathers' vision of citizen statesmen - individuals who would serve the country for a term and then return to their previous life, making way for the next citizen statesman to step up. Representatives were given a term of only 2 years so they would be away from the people for only a short time - not long enough to become out of touch with the voice of the people. Senators were given a term of 6 years because they were the elite - selected politically by the governors of the states - and were expected to be the "steadying hand" against the demands of the "rabble". In other words, the Senators were to ensure that a relatively steady course was steered, while the Representatives were to bring the concerns of the people to the table for discussion. Additionally, the Representatives were the only ones allowed to introduce bills for appropriation of taxes, so that if their hand was too heavily in the pockets of the people they could be voted out and the replacement went in already warned not to become greedy.

    Either "we, the people" got used to the federal government doing everything for everyone, or we became afraid that without being able to spread the cost across the whole population our pockets would become too light. Thus, folks in Wyoming have to support the perpetual rebuillding of homes along Hurricane Alley, instead of those folks coming up against the fact that eventually they will go bankrupt if they can only use their own $$.

    Now, I don't mind the President calling up the Ohio (as an example) National Guard to fight forest fires in California, so long as California pays for their costs. But I do think it would have been better for the Governor of California to call around and see if he could personally rent another state's National Guard, and only turn to the President if everybody turned him down. If California had gone bankrupt renting Guard units and needed more help, it would probably be OK in my book to call on the President to mobilize some units - but that depends on how I see the value of California continuing to exist. Maybe they ought to go broke and be bought up by Wyoming - it has possibilities, no? :quirky

    The problem the OP is faced with is that "the people" have very little "collective will" to assert anymore. The "will" is now firmly entrenched in the bureaucracy. The politicians cannot let the bureauracracy founder or they [the politicians] will lose their place at the head of the trough that feeds the brueauracracy. Thus, the system seeks not only to perpetuate but to expand itself. One day it will become too big for itself and will burst like a ripe boil. (sorry for the image)

    What was it Jefferson said about refreshing the roots of the Tree of Liberty?

    stay safe.

    skidmark

    *edited for typos

    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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  6. #6
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    ama-gi wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    Education will pay a big part in it. Most of the rights in the Bill of Rights are not obvious. It requires the context of potential government abuse to give them meaning.

    Do they not believe in God? They don't believe in their fellow man.
    I disagree. I think "don't take other people's stuff," "don't kill people," "don't enslave people" is pretty self-evident.

    You don't have to believe in god, as I do, to believe in rights. You simply have to beleive in self-ownership.
    Our movement (RKBA) is usually seen as a bunch of radical, white, Christian men. This is not good for several reasons, not the least of which is the comparison often made to the KKK, racist militias (I know there have been few, but remains shocking to the public), the Branch Davidians, and the like.

    I would prefer not to make arguments about the source of our rights that would lead anyone to characterize us in such a way, especially when there are perfectly good alternative explanations.

    I agree with Citizen when he states that the only rights we have are the ones for which we will fight. I also agree with ama-gi and would like to expound upon that:

    Self-ownership is the most fundamental right that we have. It is the reason we can get tattooed, rip-roaring drunk, drive motor cycles, go to any church you like, and have abortions. Our bodies are ours. While this right has endured attacks from both the right and left, it still endures....
    It is the source of our rights to free expression, movement, association, and possession of arms though. Since we own and control ourselves, we must be able to:
    - make demands in our own interest,
    - go where it suits our nature and our fortune,
    - interact with those who will further our personal goals, and
    - protect our bodies so we may use them to pursue our interests.

    Without any one of these, it would be impossible to pursue happiness/property. I doubt anyone could disagree with this.

    No part of this argument requires that a god even exist. The only pre-requisite is that we all agree that the individual should be able to prosper physically and financially.

    We should stick to this type of argument so we don't paint ourselves as religious zealots who, when placed in a historical context, most would argue SHOULD be deprived of arms.

  7. #7
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    Best thing I always do while talking to Christian antis,..

    First: ask them if they believe in the bible (typically get a "well duh" or "yes")

    Second: Ask them how Caine Killed Able

    Third: (they typically reply with a rock)

    Fourth(my reply): SO that means rocks kill people?

    Fifth(them,typically something like) NO people kill people,...

    Sixth: (me)So you want to ban people?

    I've also had it go,...

    Me: so you want to ban rocks b/c they can kill people too?

    Other: no thats stupid

    Me: exactly,like banning guns.

    Works everytime:celebrate



  8. #8
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    Where does the Bible say Caine killed Able with a rock? It says he "smote" him. Could've well been with his bare hands.

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