New social justice rights limit long-standing freedoms

Stuff co.nz 12 September 2018
Family First Comment: Who’s the boss? God or the state? Family First, in its defence of the natural family, declares that there is an authority above the state. Which is no more than what the natural family claims in practice. As the primary institution of civil society it has its own limited area of authority into which the state should not intrude. It keeps an over-reaching state under control. Once the family is redefined by the state the game changes and citizen freedom is dramatically undermined. Hate-speech law will become normative, evolving and unstoppable. The Marxist doctrine emerges from the shadows; “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness”

OPINION: We’ve been at war over marriage and family for some time. Are we approaching the last battle?

In a High Court judgment on Family First’s charitable status, Justice Simon France declared that Family First’s promotion of the “traditional family cannot be shown to be in the public benefit”. This decision is the opposite of the same court’s judgment in 2015.

The Family First model runs counter to human rights law, says Justice France. So what has happened?

Human rights were originally conceived to protect people from an oppressive state. Their purpose was to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and censorship, by placing restraints on government. The state’s responsibility to protect these “negative rights” was assumed, since they required only that people be protected from over-reaching state power. They were the consequence of the belief that human dignity found its genesis in our creation by God and not in the state.

The Magna Carta is helpful. For example, the idea of a just and reasonable tax was only possible if the king could be called to account by a higher law. It was the state’s legal function to understand that higher law and give it positive expression. Law was discovered, not invented.

Modern human rights are about entitlement manipulated by the ideology of equality, diversity and the new affirming tolerance. Increasing positive rights law allows the unimpeded state to decide what we are entitled to and what we are not. Consequently, we are in the middle of a spiritual and culture war over the control of the private and public conscience. Human rights have become a weapon to normalise social justice values of identity politics and to delegitimise traditional belief.

These new rights limit our long-standing freedoms.

We used to believe that human beings had inalienable rights. For example, a man and a woman have a right to marry, start and educate a family; not because the state or the church says so, but because they possess the unique dignity of male and female. Until recently nearly everyone believed that.

However, with the increasing imposition of group equality, same-sex marriage for example, and most recently transgender rights, it doesn’t matter what people might have believed about marriage or individual rights. Marriage is now what the state says it is. The state has become a surrogate deity turning its own positive law into an absolute which determines the constitution of family.

Who’s the boss? God or the state? Family First, in its defence of the natural family, declares that there is an authority above the state. Which is no more than what the natural family claims in practice. As the primary institution of civil society it has its own limited area of authority into which the state should not intrude. It keeps an over-reaching state under control.

Once the family is redefined by the state the game changes and citizen freedom is dramatically undermined. Hate-speech law will become normative, evolving and unstoppable. The Marxist doctrine emerges from the shadows; “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness”

We’re told we are a secular society. Just what that might mean is difficult to ascertain, but one thing a secular society does not have is a new moral vision. At best all it can do is to distort the old narrative by emphasising one traditional virtue above the rest; tolerance at the expense of truth or courage, for example.

Human Rights, disconnected from their roots, have become parasitic. They chomp through the old notion of freedom and virtue, proclaiming their dismemberment will nourish the utopia the progressives keep promising us.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/106936533/new-social-justice-rights-limit-longstanding-freedoms

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