Friday, July 16, 2010

Rights and Responsibilities

A leader in the restaurant business, someone who lobbies the government for restaurants, was quoted as saying that it would violate the "rights' of free speech for restaurants to HAVE to post the health department's grade of their cleanliness in the window for all to see. In essence, it is their RIGHT to be dirty and not tell customers about it.

In this political season it is time for us to define rights vs. responsibilities. We seem to be abusing the word "right" quite frequently and we tend to ignore our responsibilities even more frequently.

Our Declaration of Independence tells us that we are given rights by our Creator and among these are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It doesn't say that these three are all the rights but it does say that they come from God. The government was not established to give us rights. The government was to "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity" according to our Constitution. The Bill of Rights then gives us our amendments to the Constitution by telling us there are "LEGAL rights" that we have in order to insure our "GOD GIVEN rights" like the freedom of speech and freedom to carry guns.
But here's the thing. We infringe on people's GOD GIVEN rights only when we don't take up our GOD GIVEN responsibilities and that has NOTHING to do with the government. We seem to have the whole thing backwards in our world today. We think we need to establish my RIGHTS through Government intervention so that others will act responsibly; THAT is backward. WE need to act responsibly so that others will have THEIR rights and then the Government can stay out of it.

Take the restaurant guy above. His belief is that it is the RIGHT of the restaurant owners to put up whatever THEY want on THEIR windows on THEIR restaurants and if a patron gets sick, well, then we'll deal with who's responsibility that is. So because of that attitude the Congress has to enact a law telling restaurant owners that they no longer have that right and the right of the patron to know their meal is safe is a higher "right" or priority.

What if. What if the owner put in BIG BOLD LETTERS that this restaurant is CERTIFIED by SOME BIG CLEANLINESS AGENCY as being the CLEANEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD. What if the restaurant owner would pay the patron twice what his sickness cost if he got sick from his food. What if the restaurant owners took RESPONSIBILITY instead of trying to avoid it. IF they would, there would be no law needed in Congress.

What if people took responsibility for their actions THEN the rights of all people would be protected and there would be VERY LITTLE NEED for Government action. What if instead of trying to deceive the most customers we attempted to educate the most customers because we had the best product or service. What if.

Take responsibility for your actions and your rights will be protected. Take only your RIGHTS without the responsibilities and you will lose both.

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