Tuesday, February 15

Christian Moral Rights: Restatement and Setting Course

Ages ago, I worked out a list of moral rights (go here for a start on where I got these from). These rights I would take to be the fundamental rights, that we as Christians might take in place of a right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". I want to stress that this project is both in its infancy and is quite theoretical. What I mean by infancy is that for example, in claiming to have a list of "god given" moral rights based on scripture, I don't know whether I've missed some, included some that shouldn't be on the list, or am barking up the wrong tree altogether. By saying it's a theoretical project, what started this off is considering that we always talk about separation of church and state as being a good thing. But when I asked myself what the Christian ideals of government were ... I was stumped. What I am trying to do is to try to understand what sorts of features a Christian theory of government might look like. The other implication of this being a theoretical project is that I in no means have dropped my full support for our US Constitution and government in favor of the ideas I'm exploring here.

The list as it stands is:
  1. A right to worship my God, or freedom of religion.
  2. A right to raise my family in a righteous manner
  3. A right not to be killed
  4. A right to property
  5. A right to a fair system of jurisprudence.
  6. A right to charity
  7. And sexual freedom is not a right.
The US Constitution as it stands is a document restricting of the rights of the government and setting up procedures for establishment of the three branches of government, legislative, executive, and judicial. The amendments to the Constitution establish some of the rights which are not to be given up to the government, although it is noted time and time again, that the federal government tends to whittle away at those as time passes, which trend is probably why Mr Jefferson expected revolution to follow every few generations to re-establish our liberties. But Mr Jefferson lived in an age when the military capabilities of a civilian militia was on a par with the federal (professional) military forces. That age has passed. I digress, but the point I'm trying to make is that the Constitution is not a good document from which explicitly describes our rights or from which we can interpret the moral rights which we believe we possess and their application.

What I think I need to do in the next essay is try to discover and discuss differences (and similarities) between this set of rights and the one we hold dear in this land. Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are no longer our right. How might that change our outlook? How is Liberty constrained, if I have a right to a fair legal system? If I have a right to worship the God of my choice, to raise my family how does that impact laws concerning marriage and family? What does it mean to say I don't have a right to sexual freedom?

(I realize this is a bad place to stop, but its late (for me) and the bike is calling.)