Some thoughts on rights

I hear a lot of talk about rights these days, but I have the idea that many of those doing the talking have no idea what rights are. Rights are not a gift from government. They are a gift from God; they are inherent in our humanity. We have the right to speak as we choose, the right to gather with whom we wish, to share our thoughts and ideas without pressure from outside forces. We have the right to be secure in our persons and property. We have the right to govern ourselves without tyrants micromanaging our daily affairs. That, my friends, sums up the Bill of Rights.

They aren’t a gift from government, but rights restrain government and keep them out of our business. We are free to make choices, but never forget there is no freedom from the consequence of your choices. When you start calling health care or education a right, you are looking to some agency to provide this “right” to you. It’s not a right when you depend on someone else to provide it. They’re nice things, commodities, but you don’t have the right to them. The idea that it is your right to have these things is entitlement. It’s what happens when every kid gets a trophy.

When you get the idea that the things you should be free to do are given to you by government, you start getting the idea that government should give you everything you think you deserve. Maybe our education system needs to rethink how it teaches rights. Scratch that. It should rethink it. Too many young adults in America think the government is the source of all things. Part of that is an unchecked government at work in the education system. Part of it is lazy parenting.

Some of you may be thinking I’m talking about Gen X, and some of you may be thinking I’m talking about Baby Boomers. You’re both right. Both generations, in America (at least), have failed at upholding liberty and teaching its principles to the next generation. We’ve raised a generation of people who think the world is fair and everyone should have what the other person has. That’s not the case. It’s never been the case, and never should be. People cannot and should not ever be cookie cutters.

We are shackled by ourselves, the consequences of our actions.  Don’t let support of a government who wants to take your choices away be one of those actions. God didn’t design government to be the source of support in your life, let alone the source of your freedom.

The Break That Isn’t

Ever tried to take a break, but found yourself doing more than ever?

Intellectually, I’ve wanted to take a vacation. Classes are out for a few days between semesters and I don’t have much going on at home, for once. So, the brain should be able to shift to neutral and just coast, right?

Wrong.

I must be on a downhill slope or something. I shifted to neutral and my brain is suddenly more active than usual. I’m on overdrive, it seems, thinking of political matters, household matters, and any and everything under the sun.

It all ties together in my faith, though. Much of what I’m thinking about politically has to do with trying to help people understand that my Christian faith fits well with my libertarian views of government; in short that man should rely more on God than he does government. God makes changes in our lives that government cannot.

Meanwhile, at home, my son and I are preparing for a mission trip to Ecuador in November. I’m asking him to help write letters asking for support – both financial and prayer – for this journey. He, too, operates in fast forward, so asking him to take his time and do this properly is causing him an immense amount of stress.

Then I find myself in this place trying to figure out my life. I’m 40. I know lots of younger men who have direction in their lives. They seem to have their mission before them. God has set them on a path and they are walking it. I know this doesn’t make their lives perfect, but I still feel like mine is less perfect because I have no idea of how to give my life purpose. In the meantime, as I wait for God’s wisdom, I’m not sitting still. I try to love the people in my life; both those I know and see all the time, as well as those just passing through.

It seems as if I don’t have a garden of my own to tend, so I’m planting seeds wherever I go. Does that make me a theological modern day Johnny Appleseed, sowing seed wherever I go and hoping it takes root?