Chad's Constitution Blog

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Your Rights: Are They Really Yours?

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Over the last few weeks, I have been doing a series of articles about the concept of rights. This week, let’s go over another characteristic you can use to identify your specific rights.

A legitimate natural right cannot require the government to grant you that right. Governments can protect rights, but they do not grant rights. That’s a critical distinction to make.

Here’s how you can use that distinction to identify your rights. Imagine that you have something in mind that you think could be a right, but you know that you wouldn’t be able to exercise that right until the government passed legislation granting it to you. In that case, you know that what you have in mind is not a legitimate right.

As I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, a right must be something that you are able to exercise even if there is no government at all:

Look at it this way: if our rights are just something that a bunch of people in a government can give to you and then later take away just as easily, what’s so special about them? Why should anyone care when your rights get violated if they are nothing more than a privilege that some government decided to grant you to score some political points?

Read more at TheBlaze… 

Your Rights Don’t Require My Participation

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In my last column here at TheBlaze, I discussed the concept of what a “natural right” is and what it isn’t. This week, let’s go over one practical way that you can identify what your specific rights actually are.

One of the most important characteristics of a legitimate natural right is that it cannot require the participation of another person to help you exercise that right. No matter how much some people today want to claim otherwise, you cannot have a right to something like health care or to have someone bake you a wedding cake. As I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, the problem with rights like those is, what happens if the other person chooses not to participate in helping you exercise your rights?

That’s the major problem with the idea that you can have a right that requires the participation of another person: it is completely inconsistent with the fact that all men are created equal.

Read more at TheBlaze…

The History of Thanksgiving Matters

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The story about Thanksgiving that we teach in schools is increasingly sanitized and politically correct.  At this point, it bears almost no basis in what really happened.  As I explain in this video, that’s not something we should just shrug off as no big deal:

James Madison’s Speech on a National Bank

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In this video, I talk about James Madison’s speech to Congress on a National Bank.  In that speech, he makes a fascinating point about this concept of implied powers.  Here is the specific quote that I reference in this video:

In admitting or rejecting a constructive authority, not only the degree of its incidentality to an express authority, is to be regarded, but the degree of its importance also; since on this will depend the probability or improbability of its being left to construction.

Is Internet Access Now a Basic Human Right?

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In our current political debate, people are constantly talking about their rights. It’s not hard to find people discussing a supposed right to free birth control, a right to broadband internet, or whatever the cause of the day happens to be. But most of us throw around the term “right” without ever stopping to consider what it actually means.

If we want our government and our Constitution to be effective at protecting our rights, then we need to make sure that we understand what a legitimate right actually is. So let’s go back to the basics and discuss this idea a natural rights.

As I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, your right are those areas of your life that belong only to you. They are so personal that no one can violate them without also violating your humanity:

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