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What Is A Natural Right & What Does It Mean?

Updated on April 18, 2017

Life, Liberty And The Pursuit of Happiness

Words are important because they define how we communicate. For example, in the past, when a White man called a Black man a nigger, the White man used the word to denigrate the Black man's race, his personhood, and his physical features. The White man's use of the word nigger as a classification for the Black man was not based upon a liberty that the Black man utilized nor was it based upon a liberty that the Black man declined to utilize, rather, the White man's use of the word nigger was based upon the Black man's ethnicity. Once the White man identified a specific language by which to classify the Black man; the White man used that language to relegate the Black man to a sub-human status. The White man then incorporated that language into the social, religious, legal, and political codes of the United States. After which, the White man used those codes to disenfranchise the Black man of his natural rights and to eliminate him as a political entity.

Parallels of Equality

Because of the color of the Black man's skin, the texture of his hair, the broadness of his nose, the thickness of his lips, the build of his body; and the mythical characterizations of his manhood; he has been compelled to endure various forms of discrimination. However, if the Black man had been given the option to be born with blue eyes, straight blonde hair, a pale hue; the Black man may have chosen to accept the White man's standard of beauty. For whatever reason or reasons, Providence did not afford the Black man that choice; instead, the Black man was born with his distinctive physical features. Yet, in his Mother land, those physical features were the norm, and subsequently, the relocated Black man would have dwelt among Africans who shared, if not all, some of his innate physical features. Unfortunate for the many Africans who were transported to Europe and to the Americas; their resettlement introduced them into a culture that rejected them solely because their physical features. In America, rejection, based upon birth, has always been the nucleus of the Black man's struggle for social and political equality. And because the struggle for equality is a never-ending human campaign, many modern-day freedom fighters have hitched their political struggles onto the coattail of the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Modern- Day Freedom Fighters

Many twenty-first century freedom fighters, such as those who support the LGBTQ Community's platform, have stretched the implied intent of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to fit their own shifting philosophical views. But what these modern-day freedom fighters fail to realize is that there are some absolutes in life that do not yield themselves to fluctuating philosophical views. Likewise, they do not conform to transient legal interpretations. One of those absolutes is that the Black man was born Black. Another absolute is that in America the Black man's fight for social, financial, and political equality was predicated upon the color of his skin. Thus, in America, the Black man's fight for liberty and equality are founded upon the natural rights' theories that were espoused in the declaratory statements of the Declaration of Independence.

Natural Rights

The theory of natural rights, as enunciated by Jefferson and his cohorts, states "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The belief in a set of nonnegotiable natural rights prompted the Colonists to draft the Declaration of Independence. At its core, a natural right must be one that is universal, one that is not dependent upon esoteric factors, and one that does not encroach upon another man's natural rights. Natural rights grow out of a correct understanding of the cause of creation, the ontology of man, and the recognition of the existence of an omnipotent Creator. Natural rights are rights that are derived from the Creator. They exist independently of man's social, physical, or political status. An individual’s natural rights may or may not be recognized, but because they are gift from the Creator; they exist without man’s recognition, they exist wherever man resides, and they exist wherever man sojourns. Barring no character flaws, no political or religious reprisals, and no financial exploitation, a man in Afghanistan desires what a man in Alabama desires. They both desire the chance to live out their lives unencumbered. In addition, they desire the physical freedom to go and come as they please and they both desire an equal opportunity to pursue self-fulfillment.

Denial of Natural Rights

It is the systematic denial of people's natural rights that spawn revolutions. It is the continuous denial of people natural rights that give birth to civil wars. As Jefferson intimated, people will endure usurpation if it is endurable, but when it becomes unbearable the people rebel. Armed conflict normally ensues and geographical, as well as, political boundaries are changed. In America, the denial of a set of perceived natural rights is why the Colonies went to war against Great Britain. It is why the North and the South fought the Civil War. Correspondingly, it is why American troops are still stationed in the Middle East and it is why President Trump bumped targets in Syria. The fact is man's blood is shed and people die for the acquisition of what they believe their Creator embedded within their personhood. Few people are willing to die for a man's right to marry another man. Few people are willing to die for a woman's right to marry another woman. Yet, since the start of creation, people have died for what they perceive to be the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Confusion between a natural right and a political right arise when the protagonists does not comprehend the difference between a personal choice and a God-ordained natural right.

Contemporary Political Campaigns

Regarding the modern-day- freedom fighters, they are not fighting to drink water at a public fountain. They are not fighting for the right to vote. They are not fighting for the right to receive a public education. They are not fighting to sit on a seat for which they paid the correct fare. They are not fighting for the right to be recompensed accurately for services rendered. They are not fighting because the color of the skin is black and their physical features hold no aesthetic attraction. No, indeed, the 21st LGBTQ freedom fighters are fighting because he or she believes that 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 cover every sexual proclivity, every biological realignment, every psychological fantasy, and every fleeting philosophical doctrine that they be harbor.

The Original Intent

Americans understand that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was not ratified to protect the Black man's sexuality. Its ratification guaranteed the citizenship of the Black man and proffered unto him the same rights and privileges under the law that his White male counterpart enjoyed. At its inception and thereafter, the 14th Amendment was a powerless piece of legislation but in subsequent years it has provided the legal apparatus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In that broad band of Constitutional provisions rests the platform of LGBT community.

Church Or State

As Americans, we recognize the importance of words, the power that they possess, and how they impact our daily lives. Most Americans, to include many Blacks, have grown weary of hearing about the Black man’s struggles and how he must constantly fight for the natural and constitutional rights that the White citizen takes for grant. And from a theological perspective, most Americans are not interested in deciphering the difference between a natural right and a legal right. Americans live in a pluralistic society; a society that seeks financial prosperity and personal fulfillment. To achieve these goals, Americans have abdicated the right to personal privacy for the right for monetary enrichment and public acceptance. But there are some private matters in life that should remain private. One of those private issues is one’s sexual orientations and one’s sexual activity. Perhaps marriage should have remained under the auspices of the Church but still the Church would have to deal with the real-life issues of infidelity, abandonment, childcare, spousal abuse, property resettlement, and so forth. Thus, the Church would have been thrust into playing the role of the State. Whether the dissolution of a marriage of the recognition of a marriage was deem a state or a church issue matters little. As Jefferson stated, Governments derive their power from the people and when those Governments are no longer acting in behalf of the people, the people have a natural right to abolish the affiliation between themselves and their Government. Of course, we are at the point in our democracy where it is no longer feasible for Americans to wage an armed conflict against the Government but we can protest the laws that this nation enacts.

A Living Document

In the beginning, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was not ratified to condone man’s various sexual forays. It was drafted as a legal measure to fortify the Black man newly won freedom and to correct an egregious Constitutional oversight. The fact is, from 1866 until 1964, every piece of Civil Rights legislation that was passed was passed to secure and protect the Black man newly acquired Constitutional rights. For a surety, the 14th Amendment is a powerful piece of legislation. Its forbiddance for a state to deprive any person of their Natural Rights, its due process, and its equal protection clauses provide the legal foundation for the acquisition of an individual, a group, as well as the LGBTQ community’s, political rights. Certainly, there are no easy answers to the religious/constitutional quagmire that engulfs America. The Constitution, we have been taught, is a living and breathing document. In that the legal statutes were so well conceived that centuries later the Constitution still provides the legal foundation for legal theories that were not originally enunciated in the Constitution. However, it is implied that these legal concepts were impregnated within the seeds of the Constitution and its subsequent amendments.

Useless Words

Strictly, in a political sense, the LGBTQ community has a point. As an entity, they have been denied the right to politically pursue their concept of the right to life, liberty, and happiness. The Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling gave every same-sex couple the legal right to marry and the legal right to receive the same benefits that a heterosexual couple receives. Although, the Supreme Court is the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court does not have the power to do what Nature has not done nor can the Supreme Court supersede what Nature has done. Politically, the U. S. Supreme Court may offer to any entity a political right that another entity enjoys but biologically; the U.S. Supreme Court cannot change a man into a woman or vice versa change a woman into a man. That is the crux of the legal battle that now seeks constitutional sanctioning. A civil or political law that fully represents the intent of a natural law is a good and equitable law. It is one that is recognized, replicated, and upheld throughout the universe. On the other hand, a civil or political law that does not accurately represent a natural law and cannot be recognized, replicated, and upheld throughout the universe is not a natural law. A law of that nomenclature is an esoteric or political desire that may or may not have any legal merit. So, we are caught up within a spiraling vortex of words; words that are used to define who we are, what we are, and biologically who and what we might become. But if those words, and the definition associated with those terminologies, do not correspond to the universal definition of what man is, and what the purpose of man’s life on earth is, then those words and the definitions that they point to are an assortment of useless consonants and vowels. In the end, many of the words and definitions that we assign to the terms we embrace will prove to be useless terms and terminologies that will be entombed with their creators and their subscribers.

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