Thursday, February 17

Christian Moral Rights: Defining some Differences

Given the previous post, I have a new set of "guidelines" to consider living by and to align how we view our neighbors and community. The task before me is to highlight the differences in a community set up along these guidelines as opposed the one Mr Madison and company designed. Again, I will repeat that this is a theoretical exercise and is not meant as a replacement for our current legal thinking or practice. But the secular crowd harps on the "dangers" of combining church and state. One might ask what sort of government would one considers that does combine these elements. I for one, have no ready answer.

It is clear that the repressive modern (Islamic) theocratic regimes used as examples are neither the only possible answers nor an optimum solution to these questions. Historically if one looks at for example Simon de Montefort, he was a very religious man, but also one of the strongest early supporters of freedoms in the post Magna Carta England. And finally, the government I am proposing doesn't necessarily combine church and state, but it is just based on moral axioms derived not from the philosophy of Mr Locke and Mr Jefferson but taken as best I could from Scripture.

At the conclusion of the last essay, the next task set before me was to begin and emphasize the differences between the US concepts of moral rights and those I have listed.

In both sets of rules, we have a right to Life. That right is stated directly as a right to life in the former, and a right not to be killed in mine. The right not be killed was arrived at as a "reflection" of the injunction against killing in the commandments. However inasmuch as the Right to Life and Pursuit of Happiness are used currently to prop up laws for social purposes, the less positive right not to be killed, would not support those ideas as well. From where I stand in the political arena, this would seem a good thing. I would think also that abortion and euthanasia would have be less likely to be legalized, because of the right not be killed has no mention of "quality" of life and "pursuit of happiness" is not a inherent right.

In a previous essay I was stumped a little by the meaning of righteous in my second rule (the right to raise my family in a righteous manner). But this is an easier question than defining righteousness precisely from scripture. The reason for that is the previous right (to worship my God) and the current disunity of the Christian community. There is no consensus among Christians in so many facets of faith and righteousness is no exception. What this means is that we don't need a precise definition, but a common (sense) denominator. But the right to raise your family (which was derived and tied to responsibility to family) does mean a constriction of liberties. For one's liberty this implies that unlike the current belief system which holds that a 18 year old is legally free of familial constraint. In "my" system of moral rights it would instead be the rare (unfortunate) person who is free from familial responsibility, for he must be bereft of family.

I foresee two arguments have been against laws supporting a stronger family bond. The first argument would look again at the patriarchal societies in the modern world and note that they are often repressive and not modernized. However, I'm not sure at this point that I see the connection between that condition and supporting and strengthening the rights and responsibilities owed to the clan and family by legislation. The second argument little related, it would speak against strengthening the familial bond with legal ties by noting the existence of "bad" family leaders. I think this is where the common sense notion of raising your family "rightly" comes into play. If it can be demonstrated that the family is disfunctional by right of an abusive family leader, perhaps that is where the social contract enters in, that is the community has the collective right to correct this, "deposing" the authority of that patriarch (or matriarch).

While the moral rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit have a very positive uplifting ring to them and my 7 do not with a more dour outlook on man and his nature. On the other hand, the US Constitution shares the negative outlook on human nature. Its success might be laid partially to the idea that man's nature does not naturally tend towards "good", that checks and balances are required to keep his selfish interests at bay. Totalitarian and repressive regimes will, I think, be less not more likely on taking a realistic view of human nature and our moral rights.

To be continued ...