By KrisAnne Hall, JD

Some Americans are confused about the difference between Rights and Benefits. Influenced in part by manipulative politicians and pundits, this confusion has clouded the minds of the unsuspecting.  Here is a typical example of this confusion on Twitter:

How many people have you heard proclaim that there exists a right to healthcare, birth control, abortion, or some other government granted thing? Do they truly not understand what a right is? Are they being deceptive or are they deceived? Those Americans caught up in this deception are chasing after benefits, not rights.  

A Right is something that you possess inherently by the nature of your creation — although protecting that right may come with a cost. It is not confiscated from another on your behalf.  A Benefit is payment or privilege given to you at the cost of another’s property. Money must be confiscated from another citizen in order to pay for a benefit.

 

Inherent rights are to be protected by government

Samuel Adams, designer of our Constitutional Republic, described rights as being “evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”

French political philosopher, Frederic Bastiat, wrote with great clarity on the meaning of Rights and how government relates to those Rights:

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

Rights aren’t created by legislation. Rights are not granted by government. Rights precede government. Government is created to protect rights.

Julio Gonzalez for State Representative

Artful political leaders deny our Right to keep and bear arms, while at the same time asserting that the benefit of healthcare is a right. Yet, not only does life, the production from that life (property) and the right to that production (liberty) exist prior to governmental organs, but the right to protect those things from forceful taking is inseparable from the rights themselves.

“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.” – Samuel Adams.

“Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?”  Frederic Bastiat

If you must wait for government to protect your life, liberty, or property and are not free to do that yourself, then those items do not belong to you, they belong solely to whomever you have relinquished that right of protection. For if those in government who choose not to protect you, or are unable to protect you when you could otherwise protect yourself, then you are in essence a slave — a ward of the state. You are not free. Your rights are forfeited to those upon whom you depend.

 

Benefits are given and taken by government whim 

Benefits on the other hand are not inherent and must be taken rather than protected. The gifts of God are rights. The gifts of government, are benefits. Those benefits may fall into the categories of healthcare, subsidies, or any assistances bestowed upon people using money collected from other people, otherwise known as taxes.

A person does not have a right to healthcare paid for by others, that is a benefit. A person does not have a right to welfare or monetary assistance — those are benefits granted by government.

Rights belong to all people, benefits are only available to those who are a part of a defined group, subject to the terms decided upon by others. Rights are not given by government, so they should not be taken by government, but instead protected. Benefits can be given and taken based upon transitory terms and the whims of politics. Benefits have to be agreed to, legislated into existence, and supported by transfer of property. Rights are inherent and must only be recognized and defended. Their existence does not depend on taxes or any other property transfer.

People have a right to life. People have a right to defend life. People do not have a right to birth control, any more than they have a right for someone to buy them a car, pay for their vacation or buy their groceries. Other citizens paying for your birth control is a benefit, not a right. Abortion is taking life from another, and that is contrary to Natural Law and the natural right to life. One cannot be said to have a right to take another life, or cause another life to cease.

The first ten amendments to the Constitution were incorporated to serve as reminders to the American people of the rights that belong to all people as a matter of Natural Law. These first ten amendments do not contain clauses about healthcare, welfare, or prosperity; because if they did, they would be called the Bill of Benefits, not the Bill of Rights.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.

Rights are Inherent for All, Benefits are Granted to Some

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One thought on “Rights are Inherent for All, Benefits are Granted to Some

  • October 27, 2017 at 6:06 pm
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    I agree with your analysis but corrupt courts disagree. Our rights are inherent, unalienable, and natural. These rights pre-exist the formation of the states and United States. The governments created under the federal and state constitutions has zero authority to limit these rights. They do limit and destroy these rights.

    The US Supreme Court (not me) discarded the natural rights theory long ago. You can see evidence of this in the case below.

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2926579002341243719&q=Supreme+Court+of+NH+v.+Piper,+470+US+274&hl=en&as_sdt=10000006

    Supreme Court of NH v. Piper, 470 US 274 – Supreme Court 1985:

    In Corfield v. Coryell, 6 F. Cas. 546 (No. 3,230) (CCED Pa. 1825), Justice Bushrod Washington, sitting as Circuit Justice, stated that the “fundamental rights” protected by the Clause included:

    “The right of a citizen of one state to pass through, or to reside in any other state, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise; to claim the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; to institute and maintain actions of any kind in the courts of the state; to take, hold and dispose of property, either real or personal . . . .” Id., at 552.

    Thus in this initial interpretation of the Clause, “professional pursuits,” such as the practice of law, were said to be protected.

    The “natural rights” theory that underlay Corfield was discarded long ago. Hague v. CIO, 307 U. S. 496, 511 (1939) (opinion of Roberts, J.); see Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall. 168 (1869). Nevertheless, we have noted that those privileges on Justice Washington’s list would still be protected by the Clause. Baldwin v. Montana Fish & Game Comm’n, 436 U. S. 371, 387 (1978).

    Reply

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