The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Monday, August 19, 2013

President Obama Claims A Right That Doesn't Exist

Here's the Nonsense:  President Obama has claimed that healthcare is a right.  This is great because we need to make sure everyone understands their rights.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Too many Americans don't understand what rights are.  They don't know the difference between rights and desires.  It's time to reclaim our true rights. 

This weekend President Obama made a statement that we've all known he stood for for some time.  He said that healthcare is a right.  We've all known that the left has been trying to expand the number of "rights" that humans have for some time.  And with Obamacare having passed and been upheld by the Supreme Court it is now the law of the land.  As the law it provides healthcare coverage to Americans and it is our legal right to partake of what that law provides.  However, note that I said it's our "legal" right, not a human "right."  That's important because things can become legal rights without them being human rights.  But the left wants us to think of all rights as human rights, thereby giving them the ability to talk about fairness when they can use it to get voters to think they are being shortchanged if they don't get it.  This manipulation is a way they control voters who don't think for themselves.

Human rights are rights we have just by being born.  Those rights are that of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (we'll define these in a moment because they are grossly misunderstood).  As acknowledged by America's founders, every human that is born into this world has the right to life, the right to freedom, and the right to pursue happiness.  And every nation that does not allow those rights is in violation of those human rights.  In all of human history only one nation has recognized (and placed into law) the human rights of people.  That nation is the United States of America.  But our current president thinks he can, by proclaiming it, make other things become included in the list of human rights and thereby use those rights he's proclaimed as political tools to manipulate the voters for Democrat and Progressive gains.

Of the 3 basic human rights, the first two seem fairly simple to understand.  LIfe and liberty seem simple enough.  Every human has the right to live.  Any government or leader who takes away that right is in violation of that basic human right.  God grants life and it is up to Him to determine its length.  No human has the right to determine the length of another person's life.  That's why abortion is wrong.  The killing of that human life is not man's decision to make.  It is God's.  Those who have made it legal for abortion to take place, those who perform abortions, and those who have abortions will all be accountable in eternity to God for their actions.  And it won't be a debate with God about their actions, it will be an accountability to Him for what they did.  Trust me, they won't win.

Now I can hear some of you arguing about death sentences for criminals and war and those types of things.  Those are topics that are often misunderstood and would be too lengthy to get into at length here.  However, I will simply say here that God has made it clear that there is a place for those things to uphold His justice through government.  Sadly many governments don't commit those acts with God's purposes in mind, but rather they abuse their power and therefore abuse their responsibilities in these areas.

The second right is liberty.  I addressed it a bit on July 25, 2013 when commenting on an excellent article by Judge Andrew Napolitano on freedom versus safety.  You can read it here.  Simply stated, freedom is God's gift to all mankind.  No human has the right to take that from another human.  Yet throughout history we can see that man has taken the freedoms of others over and over again throughout the world.  Once again, those who have taken the freedom of others will be accountable to God for their actions.  

But I've said all this only to set the stage to get to the third, and what I believe is the most misunderstood, human right recognized by our founders.  That is the right to the pursuit of happiness.  Those who've listened to me or read my writings for any length of time know that I constantly talk of America's failure of morals.  The moral decline of America is our death knell and it is being sounded loudly these days.  Without a return to morals America will fail.  And our founders knew that.

Certainly most of us have heard that the founders said that our government was designed for a moral and religious people.  They talked of religion being the foundation of morals and even used the Bible as the first and most basic textbook in American schools.  They understood that a moral life had to have the foundation of religion.  And while many will reject that idea and argue about it today, it is crystal clear in early American history that religion was the foundation stone upon which the moral fabric of our society was built.

Having recognized that, the founders understood how a drift from morality would be deadly for our nation.  That's why they chose the pursuit of happiness as the 3rd right that was enshrined in our laws.

But, you say, what does my right to live the life I want to live have to do with this morality you're talking about?  Certainly I should have the right to pursue happiness, but every person's happiness is different from everyone else's.  For one person it might be owning their own business.  For another it might be being a homeowner.  For another it might be the ability to travel freely or have great wealth.  What do those have to do with the morality you're talking about?

The problem with these questions is that we assume that "the pursuit of happiness" meant to the founders what it means to us today.  We don't understand what was meant by what was written back then.  One of the keys to understanding any writings from any time in history is to understand what was meant by what was said.  Words, phrases, and concepts change meaning over time.  And the words of our founders must be understood within the context of the time in which they were written.

Our founders were heavily influenced by people like Aristotle, Locke and other great thinkers of history.  Add to that the influences of the original settlers to North America who fled here seeking religious freedom.  Those settlers were Protestant and brought with them the Protestant work ethic, which was one of the core results of the Protestant Reformation.  Theirs was a belief that the Bible's teaching that a man who didn't work shouldn't eat was the basis for the hard working attitudes that became the backbone of the new American culture.  So powerful was that influence that people like Benjamin Franklin's family history from those very settlers was what caused him to be such a hard worker all his life.  While he didn't embrace all of their beliefs, their core belief in hard work influenced his entire life, and he was famous for it.  

From those thinkers came much of the understanding that became the basis of our laws, the Constitution.  And in that time the concept of happiness was defined as a pursuit of virtue.  It was not the pursuit of pleasure.  In his Nichomachen Ethics, Aristotle said that "… the function of man is to live a certain kind of life, and this activity implies a rational principle, and the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed it is performed in accord with the appropriate excellence:  If this is the case, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue."  This was the thinking that influenced our founders.

So, when we read that we have the right to happiness, it means that we have the right to pursue virtue.  And the reason for that is because a virtuous life leads to ultimate happiness.  That's a far cry from our modern understanding that happiness is just about our own pleasure.  

When we compare life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (virtue) to anything else we find everything else pales in comparison.  We don't have a right to healthcare, it is a privilege.  And, in fact, the disingenuousness of the president is amazing.  He says we have a right to healthcare, but Obamacare does not grant healthcare, only healthcare coverage, which is entirely different.  Just because you have "coverage" doesn't mean that you will get healthcare.  Ask anyone who's had health problems who lives in a country with nationalized healthcare.  Britain, the country whose system Obamacare is based upon, is filled with story after story of people not getting care, rationing of the care that is given, and horror stories of British citizens being left to their own devices when the system fails them.  

President Obama's claim of a right to healthcare is laughable when you consider that not only is it not a right, it isn't even what his law is about.  His law is only about a claim to give you coverage which will be controlled by a power-mad government system that will ration your care and leave many without care.  If this really were a right and the president believed it, he'd be talking about how to make sure everyone truly gets the care they need.  But he's not interested in healthcare for Americans.  He's interested in control and controlling healthcare is the way many politicians around the world have found that they can control their country's citizens.

We need to understand what our true rights are.  We need to call out those who claim anything else is a right and hold them accountable.  And we need to stand for true human rights if we are to save America from the failure it has become.