By Marven Goodman
A right is a principle that specifies something which an individual should be free to have or do. A right is an entitlement, something you possess free and clear, something you can exercise without asking anyone’s permission.

Our country was founded on the principle that individuals possess the “inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Along with the right to property, which the Founding Fathers also regarded as a fundamental right.

These rights are known as liberty rights, because they protect the right to act freely. The right to property is the right to act freely in the effort to acquire wealth, the right to buy and sell and keep the fruits of one’s labor. It is not a right to expect to be given wealth.

Welfare rights on the other hand are a claim of need to the goods and services produced by others. Always when demanded by a government this redistribution of property is done under threat of force. Examples of welfare rights are; a right to food, shelter, education, a job, healthcare, cell phone, transgender bathrooms, etc,etc,etc,etc.

The wording of the Declaration of Independence is quite precise in this regard. It attributes to us the right to the pursuit of happiness, not to happiness per se. Society can’t guarantee us happiness; that’s our own responsibility figure that out as individuals we are given the freedom to peacefully pursue what makes us happy.

This is how welfare rights are quite different from liberty rights.

Liberty rights are rights to freedom of action. But they don’t guarantee that one will always succeed in obtaining any particular good or service one may be seeking because of need, or want.

In the same way, the right to life is the right to act freely for one’s self-preservation. It is not a right to be immune from death by natural causes, even an untimely death. The right to life is a right, and expectation to be immune from unnatural causes such as execution by a government; either pre or post birth.

The purpose of liberty rights is to protect the individuality of a human. They leave individuals personally responsible for their own lives, for meeting their own needs. They provide us with the social conditions we need to carry out that responsibility such as the freedom to act on the basis of our own judgment, in pursuit of our own ends; and the right to use and dispose of the material resources we have acquired by our efforts.

Because natural rights are an entitlement, not a privilege or favor, we do not owe anyone else any gratitude for their recognition of our rights of liberty. Natural law outlines the concepts of universal natural rights, the same as our God given inalienable rights, that cannot be subjugated or denied by arbitrary laws enacted by greedy men.

This is the most basic principle of freedom and embodies the assertion that individuals are ends in themselves who may not be forced against their will to provide welfare rights to others for any purpose, including those deemed best for the social good of all by a democratic majority vote. Liberty rights are never subject to mob rule.

Marven Goodman is the Chairman of the RLC of Oklahoma and County Commissioner in Logan County, OK.
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