"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin;
"And when politicians find that honor and character matter less than buying votes and a constituency, that too will herald the end of the Constitution. When that happens we must work tirelessly to change their minds, or their occupation!" - Hoping The Blind Will See

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Discrimination, Liberty, And Our Personal Rights

Alan Keyes, who I admire greatly, recently posted this article on his blog:


In it he describes what he perceives to be the Libertarians view of personal property rights vs. what he believes the intent of our Founders was. He is specifically referencing comment made by Rand Paul. During his discourse (if I understand his point correctly) Keyes talks about the right of any citizen to deny anyone they choose access to their home (their personal private property), but that if those same people do not allow access to their personal public property (a business for instance) then they are in violation of discrimination laws and are engaging in discriminatory behavior.

Libertarians believe that personal property is personal property. They believe there is no distinction between personal property used for private purposes vs that used for public purposes. So, if we don't agree with that premise, where do we allow the government to draw that line? That's the slippery slope of the Keyes position vs the Rand position.

In his article, Keyes brings up the concept of discrimination - saying that we can prevent people from entering our house if we don't like their race, hair color, their tan, or anything else - because it is our personal private property. He acknowledges that we have the right to discriminate in those circumstances. Let me be clear, he is not condoning discrimination; he is just acknowledging our right to do so. But he also takes the position that we do not have that same luxury when it comes to our personal public property. Where is that written in the Constitution? What or who decides what constitutes private vs public? If I own a private beach and hold a beach party and tell everyone I invite to invite whomever they want, does my personal private property now become public? Am I then prevented from denying access to my beach to people who I don't want there?

Discrimination does exist in our daily lives. It's a human condition. We discriminate against the vegetables we eat (some we just don't like). We discriminate against various religions just by joining a church of a particular denomination (or a non-denominational one). We discriminate against a political party based upon their ideology (and ours). We discriminate against every enemy we fight in a war - we don't know those individuals, yet we "hate" them. The list goes on and on. And while God created us all equal, that does not mean we have to like everyone.

My point, in a long, convoluted way, is that we have the right to discriminate even if it is the wrong decision to make. And if it is deemed to be so in the public forum of our personal property, society will alert us by not frequenting our personal public property. And we'll either change our behavior and remain in business, or not. But, in my opinion, the government does not have the authority to assign "rights" to any of us, or to any portion of our personal property. That task is assigned solely to God. To that principle I am committed.  Liberty for all...and hold to it fast!

If You Aren't Outraged, You Aren't Paying Attention

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