Charter of Rights
Charter of Rights & Freedoms
by Joe Boudreault
It always sounds like a decent thing to do. Make a law that guarantees the rights and freedoms of citizens. But the right to do what? And the freedom from what? After all, in a democracy, the idea of giving each individual the full opportunities to do as he or she wishes is a foundation of human civilization. We are, in most senses, nobody’s slave. We are free spirits, capable and desirous of pursuing our highest (or lowest) aims. So long as it doesn’t hurt somebody else.
But a law or constitution that seeks to serve up all of this is in reality a myth. A right is an inborn and unquestionable charter to human existence itself. We have the right to water, to food, to air, to shelter, to intellectual and emotional happiness. These can be (and often are) basic and simple pursuits, and wholly necessary to us all. The idea that we have to create a law to have them is absurd. We are free because we have the fundamental things that actually make life tolerable and pleasurable. Nobody can grant another person a right unless that right was withheld in the first place, and if it was, it was because the bearer of that right had abrogated it.
But you ask: what of dictators and despots and morally perverted individuals? A tyrant denies certain rights to those under his control and therefore we must have rules against tyranny. But must we? A tyrant isn’t going to obey society’s rules. Neither is a murderer, thief, or racist. So then, rules seem to be made to be broken by somebody. After all, a good person isn’t going to disobey any laws that protect him and a bad person isn’t going to let a law stop him. History is quite full of this. I do not of course mind laws made for my own good but I do not feel that I invariably need them.
When a government such as ours thought it was necessary to pass a charter of rights and freedoms for our country, what were the rulers thinking? They were thinking of our good, that much I do not doubt. But what I see is that they were thinking too much of our collective good. They forgot that one person’s right is another person’s curse. There are guidelines for a decent society and those guidelines reflect the true nature of our make-up. Since our make-up is that we are made in the image and likeness of God, we are very special and need a great charter to ensure our livelihood. I cannot think of a better charter of rights and freedoms than the Ten Commandments and the Beautitudes and the very word of God in the Bible. No human constitution has ever surpassed it because the Creator has given us the rules to live by.
Do not think for a minute that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and many countries beside Canada have such charters) is an improvement on the Bible or even a reflection of it. If you have the right to work and earn, the right to marry an opposite-sex spouse, the right to biologically procreate, the right to speak decently, the right of privacy, the right to a healthy body, the right to knowledge, the right of freedom of expression, and to have recreation and relaxation, it is (collectively) a godly right and these rights will serve you well. Before we ever had a constitution or federal charter, we had those rights by implication of the long-practiced Biblical principles of our forefathers.
Oh, but now there is a “charter” for us. But if you have the “right” to kill (abortion, euthanasia), same-sex partnership, swear, engage in pornography or adultery, consume recreational drugs, or impose by law a cultural difference into an existing culture, you are no longer exercising a right. It has become a wrong. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does precisely this.
The Charter has thrown sand into the potage of our morality. It is an “everything is fine, everybody can do whatever they want” charter. It mythologizes good and romanticizes evil. It legitimizes multi-culturalism, multilingualism, and multi-cultism and these are the forces that, if taken to excess, destroy civilizations. All cultures are not good, all languages are not needed or helpful in one area, all beliefs are not healthy to society. There is after all a freedom to do good and a freedom to do evil or wrong. One is life and the other is death.
I like to think that the natural order of things as established by God is something we should never meddle with. Nobody knows me better than He does. Nobody knows what is good and profitable for me better than He does. We are born with a sense of right from wrong and God has revealed to us what the guidelines of life are. If God says “thou shall not kill”, who are we to say “we shall abort”? If God says of our societies, “even their women have exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones … and men…were inflamed with lust for one another”, who are we to say same-sex marriage is good? If God destroyed the tower of Babylon and confused the languages because men sought their own sovereignty, who are we to impose multi-lingual laws upon a local society? If God says we are to obey authority for our own good, but we take away the sting of proper punishment and justice, who are we to erode and eventually banish the penal system?
We are an impatient, ruthless, and godless society. Therefore we are fast becoming a super-hedonistic, insecure and anarchic society. Only the God-fearing peoples throughout history kept a decent tenure with civilization. But now we are turning into so many broken jars of clay which had been designed to be so much finer in the hands of the Maker. And the Charter of Wrongs is guaranteeing that. This charter is making evil into good and will soon outlaw what is good in itself. And the more laws you make, the more lawbreakers there will be. The fear of God is the best charter that can be written, and it can be found in the Bible, a constitution that has never been refuted because God cannot lie.