César Fernández-Stoll

César Fernández-Stoll
Versión hispana

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rights, Freedoms and… Responsibilities

You have the right to remain silent… we hear constantly on many action mystery and police movies and yet a great deal confusion exists between what right is versus what freedom is. Why would it be inappropriate for
the police to say; ‘you have the freedom to remain silent’?
Because to do so, would mean to impose into something they have no control on. The point to express ‘right’ instead of ‘freedom’ is that a right is nothing but a guarantee from the civil authority that the God given freedom of remaining silent is protected. Hence, rights are nothing but a protection to freedoms given by God, carried with creation and not instituted by humans.
Freedoms as gifts of God provide us humans with judgments about our own actions and thereby as beings in our dignity as created to the image of God, we not only posses the dignity that make us entitled to so many gifts, but also give us the gift of choice, to be able to freely choose our paths. This does not imply for all the paths to be of the same value neither removes importance from the choices we make, simply; it makes us responsible for the directions we choose. There is only one path to God and it is love. When our choices are oriented or focused on nothing else but our own self benefit; we refuse to love, because loving oneself is not love but selfishness.
The harmony that love generates and maintains is the only recipe for the common good, indispensable ingredient for the salvation of humanity. The choices we made, require of individuality and cannot be an expression of any social group because to accept such a fallacy would be to suppress the dignity we all have to be unique before God.
When the state confuses the freedom to chose with the right people have to specific freedoms because they are oriented for the common good; the state is meddling in the wrong jurisdiction and so it is playing to be some pagan deity working on its own interests but leaving God on the side, the state is forcing its separation from God and from the truth that He is and it is denying the people its is supposed to serve the right to be themselves.
Human rights therefore are nothing but protections civil authority guarantees to the people to be themselves before God. Freedoms are not choices hence rights are not protection to choices but to freedoms.
We have the freedom of association, meaning that we can freely choose who we do associate with or who we choose not to associate with and the right that protection establishes is the freedom to choose, not the choices we make, as we might choose to associate ourselves with some criminal character or to participate in a social group that goes contrary to the expectations of some other. Our choices cannot be protected by the state, because they are our responsibility and therefore, freedoms are dependent upon those choices and therefore are not and cannot be absolute.
A clear characteristic of every freedom is that it cannot suppress another freedom because they are unique gifts in their own nature. Hence, association, religion, opinion, mobility, etc. are unique in their own nature and do not oppose each other. The choice we make however, determine how we exercise these freedoms and therefore the is our own responsibility attached to our ability to use them.
When we claim the right to exercise our freedoms absolutely and without accountability; we are renouncing to be free and become servants of that right. The right we claim is fictitious because is not a protection for exercising our free will, to choose without fear of persecution but a license not to be accountable not to be responsible.
Hence the only avenue civil authority has to protect the people on their own freedoms is by limiting the law to that function. Any attempt under any excuse to surpass that mandate constitutes a violation of the natural mandate social authority from the people to serve the people and therefore a deviation or distancing from God.
The most basic right on any nation is the right of life, from conception to natural death. Under this premise, no individual or group of individuals can foster, promote nor can suggest the destruction of life under any excuse or circumstance, because by doing so the protection granted to life would be removed or be conditional to the interests of others.
Protecting life means protecting the natural family, because a natural family is a union under God of one man and one woman under marriage for producing children, a future in the union of the love between each other.
Consequently, protecting the institution of marriage as create by God is of fundamental importance to preserve the right of life as it represents the future for any nation.
As important as it is to protect freedoms of enterprise, expression, opinion, association, movement, or any other freedom; the protection of life becomes a pillar that sustains the gifts God has provided us human beings as individuals for our salvation.
Life is not opposite to choice. Life is fundamental for the exercising of any choice, which is made every day at every second of our existence as we deal with every endeavor throughout our pass through this world.
We certainly have the right to remain silent but we have the obligation to raise our voices in defense of life as it is our own existence we are defending and claiming the protection for.
It is always rather simple to see ‘life’ as something focused strictly on oneself, on what is or not convenient for me, on how I can benefit from everything and anything. The problem with that approach is that is mostly destructive as it removes the dignity of the person of the individual to be one converting him/her into an entity that relates to nobody but through the attachment of selfishness.
When life, family and marriage; become secondary and conditional to how much the individual can obtain from the ‘deal’; love does not exist, not even partially, because to love it is required to give and selfishness removes that condition. Hence, to pretend a fallacious world where a balance can exist between that anxiety to posses material gain or to ‘enjoy’ limitless pleasures regardless of the boundaries violated and well, the truth; it can only find its fundamentals in the destruction at will of unwanted people, starting from the so called ‘accidental pregnancy’ to the elimination of the infirm to the elimination of the heavy load parents and elders represent impeding the ‘good life’. To remove wieight to the truth about life, it becomes imperative to remove as well any meaning from marriage and family and therefore, marriage becomes relative to what type of life style is chosen and family; and association between whatever entities or characters, including animals might be required for the ‘satisfaction’ of the self.
Choices can be nurtured as freedoms and rights while not being either and yet be imposed by legislation or the lack of it and the ultimate consequence is that the fundamental protection of life becomes a lost political issue that is nothing but a perennial ‘debate’ or something only important to ‘losers’ with ‘time’ to waste.
We have the right to live and we have the freedom to speak up loud and clear about the responsibility we have to be and to love in the name of the truth.
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