A Right

May 6, 2017

Author confuses two near-opposite concepts. Christian duty – here, the duty to care for others – is an individual obligation on the part the Christian to glorify God through voluntary, one-on-one care for another in need. 
A right is a restriction, a constraint. It sets boundaries that protect an individual from intrusion, by other individuals or by the state. The right to life, for example, is a constraint against the unlawful taking of an individual’s life by another person. It doesn’t guarantee that you will live in perpetuity, it just constrains the behavior of others. 
This is a dangerous confusion, because, in transforming an individual duty on the part of one person into a right of another, we involve the coercive power of government. 
A right always ultimately authorizes the use of force (a gun) to enforce the right. That’s dangerous when the so-called right is a question of delivering goods and services, such as health care.


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