cy rests. Does anyone believe that?rnIn protecting political speech from federal control, thernframers of the First Amendment did not intend to diminish thernanthority of any state or corporate body. From the perspechvernof the First Amendment, the state of Wisconsin, the city ofrnMadison, and the UniversiU of Wisconsin are free to imposernspeech codes. Only federal legislation against hate speech isrnforbidden.rnThe problem goes deeper than the possible passage of onernmore stnpid federal program. Our entire system of higher educationrnhas been cartelized by federal “assistance” accompaniedrnby federal regulation. There is one vast universit}’ imposing federalrnpropaganda on American students, and if an institutionrn(e.g.. Bob Jones University) attempts to assert its own traditions,rnit is .soon slapped into line. Political correctness, however, is onlyrnthe glossy pelt that covers the actual beast. The real monsterrnis that hybrid monopoh of government and business, the corporaternstate. In effect, by appK ing sanctions and invoking thernFirst Amendment, the federal government can exclude dissidentrnpolitical speech from American colleges and universities.rnOn most of our campuses, it is already next to impossible to criticizernhomosexual rights, affirmative action, feminism, Islam,rnThis is the eternal sequence: cartelize, regulate, prohibit.rnThis cartelization of rights goes on apace. Once upon a time,rnthere were dozens of competing Protestant sects, and evenrnamong Lutherans there were numerous denominations. As thernN’arious Lutheran seminaries and sects sold out their religiousrntraditions, they lost members both to the more robust and authenticrnevangelical churches and to the more traditionalrnLutheran .synods, Missouri and Wisconsin. In disgust, the leftistrnand anti-Christian “Lutherans,” eager to champion the rightsrnof homosexuals and infanticidal women, clubbed together tornform the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In the Englishrnbranch of Protestantism, the Episcopalians were just asrnbusily destroying their church: desecrating the Book of CommonrnPrayer, pretending to ordain priestesses, justifying infanticide,rnturning ever}- Sabbath into AIDS Awareness Sunday. Likernthe liberal Lutherans, the liberal Anglicans lost members —tornthe Catholic and Orthodox churches and to a variety of “continuingrnchurches.” Now, in despair, these two infanticidal bodiesrnare talking merger, and if such anti-ehurehes have their vay,rnthere will be one American church of Antichrist, protected b’rnthe Constitution as the only legitimate “Christian” body. (If thernAmerican Catholic bishops ha e their way, they too will mergerntheir dwindling dioceses into Antichrist, Inc.)rnDon’t laugh. The time is coming when Christian parentsrnwill face persecution if they refuse to allow their daughters torndate Episcopalians. The grounds will be the same First Amendmentrnwhich will be invoked, before too long, to compel EasternrnOrthodox, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox Jews to acceptrnwomen priests and rabbis and perform homosexual marriages;rnthe same First Amendment that already takes the Ten Commandmentsrnout of the courthouse and the Cross from publicrnsquares.rnThis is a struggle we cannot win unless we begin to fight it,rnand the first step will be for conservative Christians and Jews torngive up, once and for all, the anti-Christian language of rights.rnWilliam Lloyd Garrison was wrong in the 1840’s, but his languagernaccurately describes the current state of constitutionalrnlaw. The Bill of Rights, as expanded by the I4th Amendment,rnb’ the Civil Rights Act, and by the bloody-handed SupremernCourt of the United States, is trufy a covenant with death. crnDICTATIONSrn”I got rights, I got rights, too.”rnFew people have heard Hank Williams, Jr.’s song aboutrna man getting revenge on the man who killed his wifernand got himself acquitted, but it the question ofrnwhat rights are. For the killer and his lawyer, rights arernsomething governments use to protect criminals; or, to bernless tendentious, the- are state-backed claims: the right to arnfree education, to collect welfare, to be somewhere )’ou arernnot wanted. For Hank Junior, rights mean something likernwhat the Framers meant: Tliey are an inJierent part of ourrnhuman nature, the flip side of duties rather than a blankrncheck drawn on the taxpayers’ account. I have a dut)’ to protectrnmy wife and children, he would say, and therefore arnright to kill anyone who gets away with murdering them.rnThe history of the word “rights” is long and confused.rnThe Roman word im (especially when used to translate thernCreek dike) is the foundation of our legal theory of rights,rnand the classical terms mean primarily that wliich is right.rnSomething is ius or iiistum (just), when it is a well-attestedrnand honorable custom. In this sense, it is “right” to lionorrnone’s parents and take care of one’s kids. Some things arernright by nature (or bv divine commandment), others by thernlaws of nature, others simply by the rules of the society tornwhich we belong, and although the fact of something beingrnright may in some circumstances entail a correspondingrnclaim either upon society or upon other people, such arnclaim is not part of the primary definition of right. TliomasrnAquinas made this eiy clear, pointing out that the ius torntake care of one’s children could not entail a claim upon thernparent’s care, since dependent children were incapablern(morally as well as legally) of making a claim.rnFrom this classical and Christian perspective, therefore,rnthere can be no women’s rights, no children’s rights, and —rnabove all—no rights of unborn children. Husbands and parentsrnhave positive obligations to take care of wives and children,rnand they are prohibited by divine and natural law fromrnabusing their prerogatives, but these obligations have nothingrnto do with any rights (in the modern sense).rn”Well, what difference does it make, so long as we endrnup in the same place, that is, in the defense of the innocent?”rnIt makes all the difference in the world. WhenrnSamuel Johnson said the Devil was the first Wliig, he meantrnit in the sense that Satan was making a claim against the (inrnthis case, divine) crown, demanding equality, standing uprnfor his rights. The modern theory of rights is almost alwaysrnsubversive of the natural order of things, subversive of morality.rnIf you want to talk about rights, quote Roe v. Wade—arnclassic defense of a woman’s right “to choose.” If you wantrnto speak the language of Christian morality’, purge the entirernideology of rights with an emetic as strong as Aristotle,rnThomas, and the Bible can provide.rn—Humpty Dumptyrn12/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn