Where Do Our Rights Lie?

Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed, “There is no constitutional right to walk around without a mask.” This statement raises questions concerning the U.S. constitution as the be-all and end-all of rights.

Inspired by Lysander Spooner’s Natural Law, I address this conundrum with my new spoken word Extraconstitutional Rights:


To the grand stage steps the state dignitary

sporting a bold demeanor, ready to excuse the unfair decree

by constitutional references outright subversionary

(With the blessing of our judicial activists, of course)!

But if our rights are bounded by constitutional amendments,

then what origin of rights was comprehended

by the founding fathers before the constitution was presented?

Wouldn’t that be the true source?

To conceive morality,

to discern depravity,

to generate motivation for reform, the instinctual drive of the revolutionary,

proves the science of justice to be a natural force.

But if the human race is devoid of these inclinations,

incapable of independent ethical revelation,

and reliant on the nobles for salvation,

then we are the programmed minions of overlords, with only the sense of remorse.

*Photo in video by Anthony Garand on Unsplash

One thought

  1. States may enshrine rights, but cannot create them, for they are functions of our dignity, our mutual awareness of which the language of natural rights expresses. We violate those rights when first we dim the natural light we have about that natural dignity.

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