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Natural Rights, some questions for you.

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  • Natural Rights, some questions for you.


    Natural Rights, some questions for you.



    Written by: Andy Carney




    Recently CNN's Chris Cuomo interviewed Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore about his recent directive to Alabama Probate Judges to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The whole interview lasts about 30 minutes and consists of Cuomo trying to get Judge Moore to admit that he made the ruling based on his religious beliefs and not on the rule of law. At about 17 minutes in, you get to the crux of the argument - while talking about organic law and the Declaration of Independence, Judge Moore talks about certain rights coming directly from God and therefore are not subject to any kind of judicial scrutiny. Cuomo counters that laws do not come from God, but from "collective agreement and compromise."

    For what it's worth, I'm an atheist and a Libertarian - I agree that there are unalienable rights, regardless if they were granted to you by God, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or simply from being born a human. You should get to fly your freak flag as much as you want, up to the point of it infringing on the liberties of another.

    For those of you who don't know Judge Moore he's the guy who got booted from the office of Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme court for refusing to remove the 10 commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building in 2003. He was re-elected to the position in 2012. Judge Moore is a Christian and makes no denials of it. In my opinion, it's his Christian beliefs that drive his passion on certain hot button issues. Specifically, I believe Judge Moore mistakenly sees same-sex marriage as an abomination and will do whatever it takes to try to further those beliefs.

    Fortunately for Judge Moore, the law is on his side. For those of you who didn't see the interview, Judge Moore starts out by citing the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, saying that there is no specific delegation of the power to define what a marriage is to the Federal Government from the states. Spot on. He also goes on to say that a Federal Court Judge's opinion is not codified law (again spot on), nor are the probate judges ordered by the Federal Judge to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples under the jurisdiction of that Federal Judge (congrats judge, 3 for 3). The Federal Judge that initially issued the injunction admits to the third point above within the injunction itself, indicating that she could not hold one of the Alabama Probate Judges in contempt of court for not issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple. There's also some discussion about not having to obey a law that is morally incorrect such as Dred Scott and Plessey v Ferguson. This last part might sound slightly echo-chamber-ish to some of you based on legislation enacted by Mr. Cuomo's older brother.

    Anyhow, back to Chris Cuomo. Considering his liberal lineage, I wouldn't be surprised if this was his opinion that he expressed. Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if the folks at CNN agreed with him. None of that is really relevant. Unless you consider Cuomo's and CNN's audience. If you think that the average person that watches CNN doesn't or can't think for themselves and you are the type of person who might vigorously disagree with Cuomo, you might see the potential damage this could have on public opinion. And if you look at how the US Supreme Court looks at issues currently (by focusing on public opinion and general practices vs. the constitution) you might have a very valid reason why this isn't a good thing.

    Additionally, you're probably able to quote examples like the Magna Carta, French Revolution, Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Federalist Papers, Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man", John Rawls' "Social Contract" or other theories of general morality vs. tyrannical governments as background and justification to the concept of "Natural Rights". And you should.

    So here's two questions…

    1. What are man's natural/God-given rights? For me, it's pretty well summed up with second paragraph above. Simple, do your thing, until your thing infringes on someone else's thing. There has to be a victim and an ability to show in concrete that they have been harmed physically or financially for there to be a crime.
    2. Can there be a leader who doesn't let their personal beliefs impact their ability to follow the Constitution? My girlfriend tells me she could never support Ron Paul because he believed in the existence of a higher power. To me, it's logically a false belief, but I do think his focus was on rightful liberty. I could get behind him and trust that he would practice what he preaches.

    Interested to hear your opinions.

    • 24Pink14Stink
      #9
      24Pink14Stink commented
      Editing a comment
      Sweet. Look forward to it.

    • Meketrefe
      #10
      Meketrefe commented
      Editing a comment
      Natural rights are also found in nature by definition. A man has to be able to hunt or harvest to be able to survive and therefore he/she cannot be denied the right to acquire what is needed. For most of us is a simple job but for others might be access to the mother land itself. Remember native Americans didn't have the notion of real state property rights and only to the extend they could use the resources in a way that would self sustain. Also like in nature any sentient being has the right to defend its life so humans should not be different, after all we are part of the same natural system. If you mess with a mother bear and her cubs she will do everything possible to stop you, the same thing should apply to a mother or a father and it is nobody's business to decide whether you can do that or not. That is truly playing God with peoples lifes. With that said when there is a vicious element like in nature it should be terminated or put away in our case the criminals.
      I think everyone has the right to express themselves, practice whatever faith and to marry whoever they want given all the things they do they do not infringe in someone else's rights, like pretty much you described.
      I think having leaders with some faith is not necessarily bad as soon the resulting is use for wholesome purposes and not to impose religious or moral conditions on others who not share the same religion and moral compass.
      But in the union a state, or a county or a town doesn't' have to bend to the wishes of over reaching central governments that all they want is more control. The funny thing is we gave them that, we allowed that. Now it is harmful to us.
      History repeating itself.

    • 24Pink14Stink
      #11
      24Pink14Stink commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice meke! So the American natives got screwed by consenting/assenting, and now us mere American citizens are doing the same?

      Brilliant observation, but it sucks...
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