It a Natural Right?
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, friends, fellow citizens.
I should like to "speak" to you about a very important
subject....an idea that seems to come with us when we’re born. I
suppose nearly everyone reading this has heard the very smallest of
children shout, "Mine, mine!"-one of the very first words they
learn. The idea that certain things belong to us seems to come along
with the desire to eat. (And, for a pizza parlor owner that’s a
Our Founders certainly thought property is a natural, God given
right. The "Father of the American Revolution" Samuel
Adams wrote back in 1772:
"Rights of the
Colonists as Men: 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. (The colonists like this so much it was published all over the
Why is the ownership of property so important? It is an obvious
fact that our lives depend on keeping our property safe. We all know
that, without having the control of our businesses our cars, our houses
and many other things, we can’t use them for our benefit.
Naturally, if we can’t use our things for our benefit, it goes without
saying that we cannot sustain ourselves. Adams knew that: "the
duty of self- preservation," is the "first law of nature."
If our business doesn’t belong to us, we have no right to use the
proceeds to purchase that which sustains and makes our lives
pleasant. Ownership of a thing precedes our right to use it.
Our lives depend on this.
We are quick to try to get it back when property is taken from
us. "Stop thief!" are familiar words to all of
us. However, property can be lost in many other ways: by its
destruction, by taxation, or by licensing. We have police to help
protect us from house-breakers and shop-lifters. But who protects us from
taxes! Or from those who, under one pretext or another, try to
Their motto should be
"Stop Thief!" The
Constitution of California addresses this matter in several places
including this article: (a) A person may not be deprived of life, liberty,
or property without due process of law or (may not be) denied equal
protection of the laws;....
We, as fellow citizens, should work together to protect our property,
yours as well as mine. How do we do this?
Think about this, "It is our civil servants responsibility to work
with property owners to protect our property" with the idea in mind
that those who occupy the offices of authority in our counties, cities,
states, the federal government are people just like us! They
are folks who’ve been chosen by us to work in those
offices. Are we making sure we are electing those who will protect
our property? After they’ve been elected, are we making sure they are
protecting our property? Do we pray for them? Do we encourage
them? Or are we letting things just go along without paying any
attention to what’s happening? Or refusing to take the time it
takes to do the above? Does your property mean anything to you?
God has called us to be good stewards of that which He has given us,
that which we have acquired through work and savings-our property. Are we
adults taking proper care of our property? Think about this the next
time you hear a two year old say, "Mine!"
Further thoughts on property:
John Locke stated in his works (1714) that, : "...Labour
being the unquestionable Property of the Labourer, no Man but he can have
a Right to what that [the labor] is once joyned...."
From Noah Webster’s
Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 edition:
exclusive right of possessing, enjoying and disposing of a thing;
ownership.... The labor of inventing, making or producing any thing
constitutes one of the highest and most indefeasible titles to property.
(Adapted from a speech by the owner of a Pizza Parlor)
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