If we insist on rights, does that make us more righteous?

Rights. More and more, we are focusing on Rights. What are Rights? The Right to remain silent? The Right to an attorney? The Right to be reminded that anything you do or say can and will be used against you in a court of law? Or is it the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, with you having to catch the last of the trio yourself? I once asked a friend over lunch, “Who gave you those rights?” and got “I never thought of that” in reply. Is it right for us to keep insisting on our Rights? What if we insist on other people’s Rights? Would insisting on other people’s Rights make us more Righteous?

Time to set ourselves Aright. Time to commit to our Right to Responsibility. When we really think about it, none of us has any real Rights. There is only the Rule of Law. Without the Rule of Law, Rights are meaningless. We would be exerting our own Rights and taking away the same Rights from other people or other people would be taking away our perceived Rights from us. Yes, with more Rights come greater Responsibilities. Both would be meaningless if there were no Rule of Law. Who sets the Rules? Who gave the Law? If we say that we all agree to a set of Laws governing our behaviour, to ensure that we first do no harm to each other and seek the good of each other in covenantal fashion, not contractually, then we might perhaps say that we are our own Lawgivers. That would probably please many. Have we been fulfilling what we agreed to?

Stop making merchandise of each other. Be joyful in taking care of each other. Only then will our Rights be fulfilled and we will perhaps be able to be called Righteous. There is a short clip online illustrating Heaven and Hell with a group of people who have to feed themselves with long spoons from a food source suspended over an abyss. The ends of the spoons are stuck onto each person’s hand and no one has the ability to feed themselves. Fighting over the food breaks out until everyone learns to feed someone else and they end up happily feeding each other.

Don’t insist on your Rights. Just choose to be Righteous. That’s the only Right we all have.


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