Op-Ed: Who owns us? We do
Ralph K. Ginorio
| October 1, 2021 1:00 AM
Who owns me? This fundamental question, for each and every one of us, is at the heart of every controversy we face today. To whom do our bodies belong? Precisely who determines our fates?
Within traditional Judeo-Christian Western Civilization, while the state has some limited authority, we belong to God. Within the 18th Century Philosophical Enlightenment that gave birth to our American Republic, we own ourselves.
President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate is a demagoguery designed to divert attention from the deadly mess he made of his retreat from Afghanistan. His advisers have calculated that public opinion will support stripping away the rights of the unvaccinated because their choice can be spun as a threat to others. Recent polls suggest that he is correct, with all groups, except Republicans, supporting him roughly 55% to 30%.
Honestly, this support alarms me more than anything else. It indicates a public willingness to doom others to second-class citizenship.
After both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, we finally were moving away from any citizen being treated as a subject rather than as a citizen. Biden, the Democrat Coalition, and apparently the moderate majority seem to be willing to create a new target group who will be deprived of their rights to free speech, freedom of assembly, the free exercise of their productivity, and even equal protection under the law.
This majority is claiming ownership over the bodies of others. Widespread panic has transformed many individuals of conscience into unreasoning members of a mob bent on pillorying their dissenting neighbors. We should not even want to blame and victimize our fellow citizens because in good conscience they happen to disagree with us.
We do not need the Federal Government to shred both Federalism and our Constitutional separation of powers. We need to trust in our free institutions and embrace persuasion instead of compulsion.
We need to be worthy stewards of our freedom or we will surely lose it.
When the rights of any of us are stolen, we are all placed at greater risk. Anti-Jewish laws in Hitler’s Germany made it easier to punish all non-Jewish Germans who stood against National Socialism. Every anti-Black law in the Jim Crow South made it easier to harm anyone who struggled for Civil Rights, no matter their color. When totalitarians arise, no one is safe!
This issue should not be partisan. Even now, pro-choice advocates argue that a woman’s right to choose rests in her ownership of her own body. Pro-life advocates assert that the woman’s rights stop when they threaten her baby’s life. Both sides argue from a basis valuing the dignity of human life and free choice.
Liberals and Conservatives, Progressives and Libertarians; we all need to reaffirm our shared dedication to the principal that human life is precious.
The collective does not own us. We own ourselves! The mob has no legitimate claim to enslave us. This President is neither a god nor a King; our American Revolution was fought to prevent any Chief Executive from mandating just these sorts of choices for us. As our forefathers did then, we must not comply.
For my own part, as a Christian I say that God owns me. As an American, I say that I own my body. No other answer is possible for a free person. Americans once understood that slavery is worse than death. Perhaps, our folly will require us to learn this costly lesson once more.
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In Maine and then Idaho, Ralph K. Ginorio has taught the history of Western Civilization to high school students for nearly a quarter century. He is an “out-of-the-closet” Conservative educator with experience in special education, public schools and charter schools, grades 6-12. He has lived in Coeur d’Alene since 2014. Email: email@example.com