A lot of what is wrong with the world these days is that people, especially American citizens who should know the topic by heart, don’t understand what real rights are. The difference is between God Given Rights and Entitlements, and how they are both treated as the same.
All real rights stem from the 2 most basic, most fundamental God Given Rights. Those are the rights of Self Determination, and the right of Private Property. All of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights are derivatives on one or both of these basic rights. The Right of Free Speech, the Freedom of Religion? Both are rights of Self Determination. People have the right to speak the truth, speak the truth against their politicians, and the right to worship any god or higher figure they wish, or not worship. The right to Bear Arms? This is both the right to Self Determination and the right of Private Property. People have the right to own property, and the right to defend themselves from criminals and tyrants who wish to take away their right of Self Determination.
An entitlement is an unearned claim on someone else’s life, livelihood and / or property. Entitlements are the real evil of this world. Most of the time, when someone claims a “Right,” they actually mean an entitlement, and don’t know the difference. Some of the most common entitlements are Healthcare, and Welfare.
Part of the problem is that the words used to define Rights are very exact, with exact meanings, and not open to interpretation at the whim of the moment. For example, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. People have the right to Freedom OF Religion. They do not have the right Freedom FROM Religion. A “Freedom from Religion” isn’t one of the two most basic rights. It is actually an entitlement. It is a claim on others to not be Religious in certain areas or near certain people. Which areas or people? It is intentionally very broad, vague and ill-defined. It is ever changing. It is not a right.
Another example is Healthcare. Some people claim a right to healthcare. It isn’t a right, it is an entitlement. If you were to walk out into the wilds by yourself, would you have the right to Freedom of Speech? Yes, you would. You can speak about any topic you wish for how ever long you want. But if you were to walk out into the wilds by yourself, would you have the right to Healthcare? You would not. Another person has to provide you with healthcare if you were to claim it. But since Healthcare is treated as a Right, it becomes a claim on the livelihood of otherwise free individuals, and a claim on the property of corporations who would otherwise be free to choose how to run their business. An entitlement is akin to slavery. A claim on another person that they are not allowed to deny makes the service provider the slave to the person that believes they are entitled to service.
Yet another example is Education. Again, this entitlement is a claim on services and property that someone else must give you. Calling education or any other entitlement a right has ramifications past the services required. If a child has a right to an education, it practically makes immune to punishments for his own actions. A miscreant kid who beats up other children can not be expelled because doing so would violate his “Right” to an education. The kid has an expectation of service, and has his civil rights violated for any reason he is denied his right to an education. And because you can’t remove the criminals from the classrooms under penalty of civil law suit, all other teachers and children hoping to work hard have to suffer because of it. Because education is called a Right, classrooms are filled to the brim with both children who don’t want to learn and those that do, and all suffer because of it.
This country above all others needs to clearly delineate real Rights from Entitlements, rid ourselves from entitlements and lead the planet into a new century of real freedoms and real prosperity. Else if we don’t we will chase the crumbling socialist countries in a race to see which country can become the worst the fastest.