On: November 8, 2008

We keep hearing about our “rights”.  A right to own a house.  A right to go to college.  A right to get married.  A right to affordable health care.  A right to drive.  A right to own a gun. A right to have a job. A right not to “hurt” when you are being put to death.  And now some in Congress want the NFL to make more of their games available for free – ah yes, the right to watch the sport of your choice.

News flash! There are no basic human rights!

Oh, it might be nice if there were, but there aren’t. We live in a Universe. It doesn’t dish out “rights” – only needs and some coping mechanisms. We have little knowledge of how it works and why it works the way it does.  But we do know that when we are born, we need food, shelter and strength to survive.  And we do know that there is no job or dwelling with our name on it waiting for us – that there is no supply of food stored for us – that there is little protection from others who may harm us. Like all animals, we humans have to work and fight for everything we get.

The U.S. is a society of people who want to live a certain way.  We have done what is necessary over the past two centuries to create a country in which we are relatively safe, in which food and shelter are readily available, and in which each of us has the opportunity to discover our “gifts” and to give them back to the  world.  We were not given anything including “rights”.  Everything we have, has been envisioned, fought for, and created – even the Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness described in the Declaration of Independence.

Many politicians and activists put the “basic human right” tag on causes they advocate. They do this knowing there are no such rights and that their cause has few convincing arguments.  Yet they use the “basic human right” tag because they believe this conveys the sense of entitlement and sense that a segment of the population is being persecuted and thus plays on the fairness of the American people.

What we have in this country is our Constitution, laws, and opportunities – not human rights.