The Twaddle from the Religious Right on the Origins of RightsPosted: September 9, 2012
The religious right often says that we have certain rights because of G-d, because G-d gave us these rights. Of course, I don’t know how one can be sure of such a thing. G-d may have deigned to give us only rules and orders and a series of religious laws. Indeed the bible is filled to the brim with injunctions and prohibitions. I can recall no verses from either of the testaments (although I must concede that I am far from an authority on same) telling us that we have the right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, I doubt if most religions spend much time advising the flock of their inherent rights to liberty, etc., as ordained by G-d. The idea that G-d is an authorization or fount for liberty never made sense to me. The old testament tells that we are made in the image of G-d, but this is far from a license to be free. On the contrary, it can be interpreted as meaning that since we are made in His image, we are compelled to be Godly – virtuous, morally irreproachable, etc.
I think we have rights because we have endured the fate of being born. We never asked to be born. But we are born. Therefore we have the right to make our lives feel worthwhile, comfortable and happy.
Copyright, David Gottfried, 2012