Topic category: Secession - Formation of a New Constitutional Republic
Human rights are not apparent facts, but unlikely truths. They are always counter to what is readily apparent, and thus linked to metaphysical reality, not science.
The idea of natural law is that human beings have moral rights given by God, based solely on their being persons. It originated with the Romans and ius gentium, legal rights that applied even to non-Roman citizens. The imperfection of Roman legal protections for non-citizens is most readily apparent in the case of a certain rabbi who died two millenia ago.
The next stage in natural law happened when classical ideas merged with this rabbi's teachings in the ideas of Boethius, Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, and Suarez. The unlikely truth of God made man was joined with the unlikely truth that everyone had rights, not because they are Greek, Roman, rich or well-born. These rights are ours because we are human. They were first elucidated in British jurisprudence by Francis Bacon.
Natural law matters now because we are asserted to have rights independent of God. If not from God, where do these rights come from? The consequence of Kantianism is that intellect became the basis for human rights, and as a consequence, those of us without intellect are deemed not to have rights. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in an interview with New York Times Magazine, said she thought population control was the original intent of Roe v. Wade. In her opinion, human rights do not extend to those who threaten to "overpopulate" our world. What is more, Ginsburg asserts the need for government to help poor women exterminate their children. In this case, the likely conclusion is apparently that population control and fighting poverty negate the first right, that to be.
In contradistinction to apparent facts, we must advance the third unlikely truth. The first unlikely truth is that God became man. The second unlikely truth is that ordinary people have rights. The third unlikely truth is that the unborn have rights.
Shannon Walsh holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master's degree in History from Western Illinois University. A lifelong Catholic, Mr. Walsh is a student of philosophical history.