Global Christian Perspectives – September 25, 2015

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News Segment:  30  mins  – Times are flexible.

Pope’s visit

               General reaction to the Pope’s visit and what he says over the next few days

Ben Carson’s Statement on Islam and the Presidency

While At first I was troubled by the clips of Carson’s statement I heard when I heard the full clip I changed my view, and now see this in just another in a very long line of media hit pieces.  While I think he could have been a bit clearer, given it was an off the cuff answer, I do not really see any problem here.

Immigration in Europe

This remains a growing and major crisis.  My view is that it is likely to remain, and in fact get worse, until the source of the problem is dealt with, something few seem willing to address.

News Segment:  30  mins

Rights ? Do they exist? What are they?

Historically human rights were grounded in a belief in God, i.e. what God had given no one not even the King could take away.    This view was beautifully summed up by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote,

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.

You can see this behind the argument of Lincoln in the 7th and last debate against Douglas when near the end he argues,

That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles-right and wrong-throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Today rights have been disconnected from God, and without a basis have drifted into chaos where China can claim it can suppress individual rights because it has a Right to Develop.  Where every wish become a right because it is desired.

The slavery issue remains a factor here. I do not believe there is such a thing as a right that impinges on others.  Your right to life, liberty and the pursue of happiness, for example, should not affect me, nor does it make any demands of me.  The moment it does, it ceases to be a right.

The “right” of another cannot be to force me to work on their behalf, and yet much of the modern welfare state is built on just that sort of mandate. 2/3 of the US budget is transfer payments, taking money from some people to give it to others. Thus if I am lucky, I will only have to work well into my 70s before I can retiree because in part I have to pay for government workers some of whom retire with 100% pensions at 55.  What do we normally call it when one person is forced to work for the benefit of another? Now days it is called a right.