Sunday, February 19, 2012

What makes a right?

To begin with let me preface this by saying that I have nothing against homosexuals. They are no worse sinners than the people who fill the pews every Sunday. But I do have a problem with allowing homosexuals access to the term "marriage".

Marriage is not a right. Please let me say that again because that is the basic principle that cannot be overlooked. Marriage is NOT a right! Nobody has a right to get married, marriage is a covenant conferred upon one man and one women by the church and a civil contract established by society.

In order for society to perform its function of civilizing the savage that is man, certain laws need to be set up, and certain rights need to be acknowledged. And a distinction needs to be made between the two. Rights are conferred upon ALL humans by a being greater than man, otherwise they cease to be rights and only become laws. Laws are conferred upon humans by humans as a means of establishing civility. That is why in the Declaration of Independence the phrase "unalienable rights" is so important. Rights cannot be conferred upon beings of equal stature, meaning that man cannot confer rights upon human kind. In order for it to be a right it must be given my a higher power. My cats cannot give me rights, nor can an ant give rights to a mosquito. A bit of absurdity I know, but you get the point. I do not confer rights to someone that is of equal stature to myself, just as one insect does not give rights to another insect. If they were to be given by mere men they could be simply taken away at a whim, and then they cease to be rights.

So the fact that we consider them rights, means that they must have been endowed to us by a higher being. "That among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". The list is short for a reason: our rights are to be held to so tightly that a narrow definition of rights needs to be adhered to or they cease to become rights, (there is a reason why the Bill of Rights is so short).

We cannot get carried away and start claiming privileges as rights. For that reason we do not have the right to marriage, abortion, collective bargaining, healthcare, home ownership, a college education, pensions, entitlements, yachts, limousines, diamonds, fame, fortune, and luxury vacations. Another absurdity I know, but when one begins including everything under the heading of rights, it tends to get out of hand very quickly. Why shouldn't my wanting Chinese food become my right?

So that leaves us with a very large body of laws, which have been conferred on us by the state (the government), included among these are marriage, abortion, collective bargaining, healthcare, home ownership, a college education, pensions, entitlements, yachts, limousines, diamonds, fame, fortune, and luxury vacations (okay maybe not the last few, at least not for all, but for some). My point is that all these above are privileges not rights. And because they are not rights they do not apply equally to all humans. If my credit is not so good, I do not have a right to own a home. If I work for a company that doesn't have collective bargaining it is not a right that I have lost, I never had it in the first place. Remember rights are conferred upon ALL people, not just a select few. Wanting something doesn't confer upon it the status of "right", nor can government elevate a privilege to the status of right.

So to follow this would mean that society gets to decide what is considered marriage. And a decided majority has determined that the term marriage only applies to a covenant between one man and one woman. There are other ways for homosexuals to be allowed the same privilege without allowing them full access to the "term" marriage. Owing to the fact that marriage is a privilege its definition can be changed as determined by the society. And when 74% of a population determines that it is to be defined as between one man and one woman, then society has deemed it thus. (Prop 8 was passed by 74% of Californians, an overwhelming majority, but one judge overturned it by claiming marriage to be a right). But simply waving a magic wand over a privilege does not elevate it to status of a right, otherwise I could make Chinese food a right.

The homosexual community can go about abdicating for a change in definition all they like, but society gets to decide how the term is defined. Because remember, marriage is NOT a right, so access to the contract can be limited by what society determines is for the best of society making it law. This is the simple truth. I cannot (nor do I wish to) restrict homosexuals from forming civil union contracts that they negotiate through their governmental bodies, employers, insurance companies, healthcare agencies, etc. But I can restrict their access to the "term" marriage by defining what marriage is, and what it is not. And that does not make a homophobe.

No comments:

Post a Comment