Getting Right on Rights

Written By: Josh Kimbrell.

Our culture has a difficult time differentiating between rights and preferences, which is usually due to our obfuscation of right and wrong. In our increasing secular-progressive society we’ve dreamt-up “rights,” which stand in stark contrast to America’s founding principals, and declared them constitutional. This fact is well illustrated by recent city-sponsored gay pride parades and festivals held in several South Carolina towns. City officials and organizers have defended their use of taxpayer funds and facilities to support these events, as defending the rights of homosexuals to be married. To that end, I’d humbly offer that I do not hold marriage as an inalienable right, but as a freedom.

A right, by definition, is what an individual may do without the consent or approval of others, including government. As such, rights are absolute and inviolable, and create legal lines which legitimate governments may not cross. The Declaration of Independence describes inalienable rights as “self-evident.” In other words, simple observation attests to their existence. A person may breathe without asking permission, and they may speak without consulting another. Additionally, rights cannot be exclusively extended to one group at the expense of another. Rights must be evenly applied. An individual’s exercise of his or her right to speak, for example, doesn’t preclude another from speaking simultaneously (though it may get a little confusing).

Neither heterosexual, nor homosexual marriage is an inalienable right. It is a freedom in a free society, granted to qualifying individuals, but it is not a right extended to all. Children, for example, cannot be married, though they are autonomous individuals possessing the same inalienable rights as adults. Though I’m a happily married man, I’m not entitled to my marriage. I wasn’t born with an inalienable right to marry my wife. Remember, a right is something that exists outside the permission and consent of others; therefore, marriage can never be a right, for it requires that two people consent to spend the rest of their lives with one another. For the cities of North Charleston, Spartanburg and Columbia to promote gay pride activism, under the pretense of protect individual rights, is ludicrous.

Homosexual citizens have the same right to protest as any other individual in America. Just like every other citizen in America, they do not have a right to marry. The only civil rights being trampled in the current debate over city-sponsored gay pride events is the right to self-government. The cities aforementioned are chartered under the State of South Carolina and, in 2006, the people of South Carolina, by an overwhelming 78% majority, voted to amend the State constitution to recognize marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.” For cities and localities to wastefully spend taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars, to lobby for same-sex marriage benefits, is a violation of the principles of self-government. Homosexual activists have the same rights as any other citizen to enter into the union of marriage with a person of the opposite sex, as defined by the SC Constitution. If they disagree with the State’s definition of marriage, they have the right to protest these laws…on their own dime, using their own resources.

God Bless,

Joshua B. Kimbrell
President & Chairman
CEO Round Table of South Carolina

P.S. – I’ve been telling y’all about CEO Round Table’s upcoming “A Greater Freedom” conference at First Baptist Church North Spartanburg for weeks. I’d remind you to follow the link, below, for a special invitation from Senator Jim DeMint to join us in the fight for freedom on October 1st!

Josh Kimbrell is President & Chairman of CEO Round Table of South Carolina. CEO stands for “Christians Empowered & Organized.” Part of the mission of CEO Round Table is “to promote a way of life that embraces faith, family, and freedom.”