The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Natural Rights

Modified: Sunday, 30 June 2013 19:41 by admin - Uncategorized
Natural Rights are those rights considered to be self-evident (not requiring proof to be understood as true). Depending on who you talk to or what philosophical principles you might be reading, these rights may be described as coming from a Supreme Creator (God, Allah, etc.) Regardless of the origin of these rights, all people have them.

The government doesn't give them to us and the government doesn't pay for them and the government can't take them away, unless a jury finds that we have violated someone else's rights. (Judge Andrew Napolitano, see article below)


Speech Relevance

Reagan speaks directly of Natural Rights only in 'A Time For Choosing':
The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.
Reagan is suggesting that the government has put itself as the giver (and taker) of our Natural Rights. However, in his 'A City Upon a Hill' speech, he makes specific reference to Natural Rights:

Those who remained of that remarkable band we call our Founding Fathers tied up some of the loose ends about a dozen years after the Revolution. It had been the first revolution in all man's history that did not just exchange one set of rulers for another. This had been a philosophical revolution. The culmination of men's dreams for 6,000 years were formalized with the Constitution, probably the most unique document ever drawn in the long history of man's relation to man. I know there have been other constitutions, new ones are being drawn today by newly emerging nations. Most of them, even the one of the Soviet Union, contain many of the same guarantees as our own Constitution, and still there is a difference. The difference is so subtle that we often overlook it, but it is so great that it tells the whole story. Those other constitutions say, "Government grants you these rights," and ours says, "You are born with these rights, they are yours by the grace of God, and no government on earth can take them from you."


Source Links

What Is a Right? by Judge Andrew Napolitano

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