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They Have a Right!

January 7, AD2017

united states, flag, patriot, america

I am tired of hearing the phrase, they have a right. I hear this said on television, radio, or among people in everyday life about a controversial subject that has caused a condemning reaction; such as flag burning. It’s not that it isn’t true that the law allows certain acts of free speech, it is that a person will blather on, accompanied by a serious facial expression, about how the law does allow it.

With this over-emphasis on the primacy of law, I doubt if there is a person in America that is not aware that they will not be stopped by the power of the State from saying and doing very foolish things.  Often the obvious is repeated over and over for a longer time than the subsequent opinion of the act itself. During this long-winded assurance that the speaker is not against the rule of law, I am waiting for an opinion about the flag burning itself.

Law Determines Morality

On the other side of this issue are the persons who perform the foolish act. Their answer, when asked why they would do such a thing is, inevitably, and defensibly, to say; I have a right! The same answer a Hobby store owner gave me when I gave him my money at the cash register one day. My question to him was, “Why are you armed?” I was referring to the 45 holstered at his hip. This phrase has become an attempt to end the conversation with an overwhelming moral blow that appeals to our sense of law as the ultimate word in conflict resolution. Not physical conflict, but the conflict of ideas.

The reason for this unnecessary dwelling on the obvious is that man-made law has become our god replacing the real God. Human words replacing The Word. No matter whether you count ten or two Commandments, this replacement breaks the very first commandment from our God who is quoted in Exodus 20:2-5, “You shall have no other gods before me. ..you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Or, from Jesus himself in Matthew 22:36-38, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

Speaking this way, as so many do, reveals an overly worried person who wants to make sure that they exhibit no hint of disobedience towards the law. I call this fear, in the sense we ordinarily use it,An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous.” In other words; primitive servile fear. Fear of varying intensity, depending on the person, expressed unknowingly.

Is this fear of the State, the listener, or both?

Are We Likewise Afraid of the Lord?

As Catholics, we can gain an understanding of fear. Christians at baptism, receive the fear of the Lord as part of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that are listed in Isaiah 11:1-2.  Proverbs 9:10 tells us that,  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Even at this point, we are already way ahead of merely being afraid in a primal way. We have leapt high as without gravity, into the spiritual realm. We have left behind the dance of conflict with others, where we repeat phrases of obedience over and over until we perceive the chance for opposition subside.

This gift of fear of the Lord is described by St. Thomas Aquinas:

Accordingly if a man turn to God and adhere to Him, through fear of punishment, it will be servile fear; but if it be on account of fear of committing a fault, it will be filial fear, for it becomes a child to fear offending its father. (Sum I-II.2.3)

Small Signs and Big Changes

Our American (and world) society is changing at a rapid rate in the new millennium. With the introduction of a liberal government in 2008, there has been an open and coerced movement towards the ideals of a modern One World Government. One which marginalizes religion as a major goal, as did the Communists of a prior age according to their founder Karl Marx. Marx believed that God was a human invention.

This modern version of Marx has assumed that business and production will profitably continue in order to fuel heavy taxation and has along with the low-level worker, included those without work (or citizenship) but who are able to vote.  It’s just that the low-level worker has been left out of Liberal’s plans this election as the hubris of thinking that they were already the ruling class took over.

Scant reference to God is evident in the last election’s (2016) losing Liberal party’s national platform. I see this loss as a setback but not a permanent blow to this godless progress of denial that our rights come from God, as stated in our founding document; the Declaration of Independence.

The Future?

I am always looking towards the future, even now when my future is significantly shorter than it used to be. There is a progressive move to replace any outward view when understanding of life, with the inward contemplation of emotional self-centered material desires. From this we get gender confusion, sexual desire reduced to instinctual animal conquest, the dismembering of the unborn, and marriage and love taught as feelings that must satisfy the moment to be relevant.

In short, I don’t see any progress of humanity from our humble beginnings in the garden to now. The leadership that told us that we could be as God, is telling us the same thing now, except it is speaking from political power or star power in print, television, and movies.

There is one question no one asks, at least out loud, when they are enthusiastically cheering the potential ruling class towards the utopia of Liberalism. That question is; after they take ultimate power, what will become of me.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

H.L. Duncan is a senior citizen widower in his 8th decade of life (70s) who was married for 36 years to his only wife Jill. He lives on 40 acres of the Great Basin Desert in an owner built solar powered home. He has three children who have left the nest and are now too far away. After an Episcopalian childhood, his teen years brought on the disease of agnosticism with occasional bouts of atheism. He entered the Church in 2010 and says he has felt at home ever since.

His working life included Forest Fire Truck Driver, Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa building schools, Motion Picture Cameraman in industrial films and while in the U.S. Army, production assistant to a Producer in Hollywood, Professional Still Photographer, Photo Lab Technician, Postal Service Letter Carrier, Computer Systems Analyst in business and government, Computer Consulting, Owner of an Internet business, Web site creation.

His educational background is mostly self directed reading and experiential but does include; A graduate of the London School of Film Technique, London, England, AA degree in Business Data Processing with an additional course in accounting, Seminars and technical classes.

He now spends his days in local parish church work and Right to Life groups, Internet conversations with new friends and old enemies of the Church.

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  • polistra24

    If you’re enough of a commie bully to ask a man why he’s carrying a gun, his answer should have been considerably firmer than “I have a right”. He should have said “Because monstrous leftist bullies like you are a threat to my life.”

    • You have given me the biggest laugh of my day and illustrated my point beautifully. The SECOND reason he gave me was that he was afraid of being robbed.

      FYI: I own a 12 ga, a 410, a 22 rifle, a 38 hand gun. I used to own a Thompson, and hated to give it up. My best friend up the road has a private shooting range. I target shoot on my property all the time.

      Thanks for the laugh,

      C.B.

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  • Guy McClung

    Dear HL, When you said “I am always looking towards the future, even now when my future is significantly shorter than it used to be,” I think you meant earthly physical future. CS Lewis made it clear that you do not have a “short” future: “ There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” (The Weight Of Glory). Not only are you immortal, but according to Lewis: “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.” Guy McClung, San Antonio TX

    • You are correct Guy, I did mean our earthly future. It also crossed my mind when I wrote that sentence that there is much more to the future of any of us, as you said.

  • Eddie

    Great observations. Sadly i think that the small insane vocal mimority through stealth, lies, threats, violence and intimidation push through immoral laws to allow the immoral. Abortion was passed based on a lie and twisting the right of privacy laws, marriage equality with no basis on any society law or tradition was forced through by leftist judges equating behavior with the civil rights movement and the women’s sufferage movement inspite of it being defeated by voters in virtually every state it went to a vote. Now gender confusion and tax payers paying for sex change operatoons for inmates all the while our insurance premiums go sky high, next lowering the age of consent and the right of adults to have sex with children, notice I used the term right. The evil of pedophilia is next on the sicko agenda. California is allowing children to prostitute themselves, that is next on the agenda. Not a peep from anyone. Frogs in a pot of cool water over a flame. They will eventually happily boil to death. The question is why? I disagree with one point you made. Law no longer governs morals, the invisible puppeters have a vested interest in destroying the once Christian fabric of our Nation by using judges and courts to remold America into Europe. Changing laws. This country is in effect being governed by a whole host of nuts will conflicting goals. The welfare of the populous is not on their agenda. Money, piwer, control and confusion. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. I think the ultimate goal is to create the ability to shut down the Catholic Church, remove tax exempt status on the basis of hate speech and scare the populous into silent submission. Obama’s administration sued nuns while spewing the holier than though tolerance and acceptance for everything else. Hopefully President Trunp will remove the gag order imposed on the Church by LBJ and once again the religious will be able to unequivocally exhort the faithful to vote according to God’s law. You are right in the end, we have only a temporary rest from the nonsense of the last 8 years and when they take complete control what will happen…
    God has attained the victory for us in the end. Our greatest weapon is the Rosary, Confession, the Mass, hope, joy and kindness, never shrinking from proclaiming the truth. The true enemy hates those things. We must have faith hope love and joy, the joy of Christ. Great essay.

    Be joyful and hopeful, bottom line God is in charge.

    • adam aquinas

      Obviously, you are quite unfamiliar with the 1st and 14th amendments to the Constitution….this is not a Christian nation despite your bloviating treatise; read the Treaty of Tripoli signed by John Adams and ratified by 100% of the Senate.

    • Eddie

      Thank you for your comment. Almost 80% of America identifies as Christian, the Government (our Representatives) is overwhelmingly made up of Christians, Christmas is a Federal holiday, ergo The United States of America IS a Christian Nation. You may disagree with opinion but not facts. Have a great day:

      According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2008, 76% of the American adult population identified themselves as Christians, with 51% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant or unaffiliated, and 25% professing Catholic beliefs.

    • adam aquinas

      Who identifies as a Christian does not define a nation. The Constitution and Amendments define the nation….There is no reference in these governing documents to Christianity….not one.

    • I am surprised that anyone still tries to put forward that tired old Richard Dawkins argument about the treaty of Tripoli. The limited government of the combined original states was not a theocracy and no one has ever tried to prove that it was.

      I will gladly concede that you are an atheist, if that is what you are after.

    • Eddie

      Thanks again for your comment, we will agree to disagree.

    • TomD

      “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion . . .” – Article XI, The Treaty of Tripoli. The Treaty of Tripoli doesn’t actually say what many who repeatedly cite it claims it says. There is a important distinction between a government and a nation.

      Clearly, as the Treaty of Tripoli states, the government of the United States was not founded on the Christian religion, as the First Amendment states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . ..”

      But that is not the same as saying that the United States was not a Christian nation at its founding. The people of the United States were a people steeped in the Christian faith, albeit of varying degrees of practice and belief, comprising a Christian nation, but open to peoples of all faiths, but Christian in its underlying ethos. The United States was a Christian nation before, during and after its formal founding, established at its founding with a secular government, but already existing as a Christian nation, which our founding did nothing to alter. Christian government, no. Christian nation, yes.

      It is only in the late 19th and 20th century that this long existing reality, that America was and is a Christian nation, began to be challenged, by those who have various modernist ideological and political agendas.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

  • james

    I’m tired about hearing the pseudo right of ‘ free will ‘ as enshrined on this stone –

    “I came here without being consulted and I leave without my consent.”
    St Elmo cemetery gravestone in Chattanooga, TN

    • You have given a good example of a man who knows his limitations.