…consider an argument I have now heard hundreds of times — on Facebook, in my e-mail, in comment threads here and elsewhere: ‘Hobby Lobby’s owners have a right to their own religious views, but they don’t have a right to impose them on others.’ As I wrote the day the decision came out, the statement itself is laudable, yet it rings strange when it’s applied to this particular circumstance. How is not buying you something equivalent to ‘imposing’ on you?
I think you can understand this, however, as the clash of principles designed for a world of negative rights, in a society that has come to embrace substantial positive rights — as well as a clash between old and new concepts of what is private and what is public.
“Positive” rights are not moral and are not workable. Positive rights assert that your claim of need trumps my property rights. The question is, to what degree? Positive rights introduce the question “Who Decides?”
The demagogues and bureaucrats are getting fat while pretending to care about the answer.