John Steward of Jesus
  The "Good News" (Gospel) > Archives > Thoughts on Liberty > Traditional rights vs. new "rights”

Traditional rights vs. new "rights”

November 4, 1980

The traditional rights of liberty can always be preserved because they are an absence of interference from others. They are automatically enjoyed if other human beings do not become coercive. One enjoys the freedoms of life, liberty, and property, by birth, naturally, as God-given.

Those additional rights which some think they have--freedom from hunger, the right to a job, the right to health, etc.--are fundamentally different in that they cannot be guaranteed to a human being unless another human being does something. To guarantee the subject these rights, another human being must be forced to do something—to give food, to give money, etc. Thus such “rights” by definition remove from others the traditional freedoms on which the founding of this country was based. This erosion is the first step in the direction of a collapse of individual rights,and an emphasis on the collective, which leads to the distribution of the wealth.