Monday, June 27, 2005

So what's a right anyway?

It's odd but just about anything is considered a right these days. One seemingly can assert that they have a right to something and support it with nothing other than gratuitous slogans such as the Young Liberals did in wearing buttons that read "It's the Charter Stupid!."

Now, I delpore such argumentation, simply because it assumes so much and says so little. What does it mean to say a thing is a Charter Right? It seems to me that a Charter Right is little more than a legal fiction. The Rights we see being "won" today are won on the basis of legal argumentation not ethical, moral, or philosophical vision. In short if you can win the legal battle you have won a right. This however strikes me as little more than opportunism. Your chances of winning a legal battle depend on timing and who the Supreme Court Justices are. Hardly stirring stuff.

To my mind, it should be that principes that really matter, rights that really are rights, stir the passion and move the soul. Surely the "right" for two people of the same gender to engage in some perversion of God's ordinance of marriage is not to be considered on the same level as the grat fight for freedom of slaves, or the freedom from bondage and tyranny.

Where are the grand principles that guide a nation? They are absent. It seems that the great battles of the past, such as are enshrined in such landmark documents as the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independance are gone. These were issues that could rally the spirit. Freedom from tyranny. Now all we have are a series of far less substantial rights, ones are but motes in the eye comapred to those former rights.

If this is what we are reduced to then surely we are bankrupt as a society, philosophically and intellectually.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Well said. You almost sound like those Conservative members in Parliament on CPAC today (and a few very brave Liberals!) Would we have ever guessed 22 years ago when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were established that we would be debating this very issue? I think not!