Today is Bill of Rights Day -- an ideal time to refocus concepts of rights and responsibilities in keeping with the Founders'.
"We poorly understand the elementary concept of rights," writes economist, adjunct faculty member and contributing scholar Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson for Grove City College's Center for Vision & Values. "Many Americans ... further cloud the issue by asserting that responsibilities frequently eclipse rights."
Protecting God-given and inalienable rights was "government's sole legitimate purpose" to the Founders, but with time and "progressive" social engineering, "clear understanding of fundamental rights has eroded." Dr. Hendrickson cites President Franklin Roosevelt's "Economic Bill of Rights" as an egregious example -- because if one citizen has a right to, say, a home, others must be compelled to provide it.
He points out that helping others is a moral -- not legal -- responsibility: "It makes no sense to say that those who work hard, are productive and have savings have a responsibility to provide for those who shirked that very same responsibility to provide for themselves."
Thanks to Hendrickson for reminding all of the Founders' perspective so all can better uphold our precious Bill of Rights.
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