When Rights Are Wrong, by Donald DeMarco

CWN: Pope Issues Tough New Rules Against Vatican Financial Corruption
April 30, 2021
Attention, CDC … We Don’t Need Your Permission, by Steve Jordahl
April 30, 2021

Group of multiethnic people protesting outdoors with placards and signs. People shouting with banners protest as part of a climate change march. Protestors holding worker rights banners at protest.

By Donald DeMarco, Crisis Magazine, April 30, 2021

Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus of Saint Jerome’s University and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.  ..

There are few topics that are of greater importance than “rights.” At the same time, the topic of rights has been egregiously misunderstood and fraudulently represented. What are rights? Are they the exclusive domain of human beings? What is the basis of a right? How can rights be protected? Can there be rights without duties? These are certainly important questions, though their answers are often confusing and contradictory.

That the subject of rights is important is widely upheld. Unfortunately, there is an unbridgeable chasm between their recognized importance and how they should be applied. Some years ago, the well-known anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote a piece for Redbook entitled, “The Many Rights to Life.” The redoubtable Ms. Mead generously extended the notion of rights to all animals and plants by declaring that “Clean air and safe water have become rights for all living things.” In her sweeping largesse, she bestows rights upon even those who have passed on. The deceased, she writes, have both the right to be mourned after death as well as the right “to vanish into the unremembered past.” She includes, in her bountiful list, the “right to a chosen sexual identity.”

Continue reading >>>>