Skip to main content

Liberty, freedom and rights

Published June 01. 2013 09:03AM

"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."

Thomas Jefferson

The definition of the words "Liberty", "Freedom", and "Rights" given in Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, are respectively, in part, the following:

"Liberty - Freedom from all restraint except such as are justly imposed by law.

The "liberty" guaranteed and protected by constitutional provisions denotes not only freedom from unauthorized physical restraint, but embraces also the freedom of an individual to use and enjoy his faculties in all lawful ways, acquire useful knowledge, marry, establish a home, and bring up children, worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, live and work where he chooses, engage in any of the common and lawful occupations of life, enter into all contracts which may be proper and essential to carrying out successfully the foregoing purposes, and generally to enjoy these privileges long recognized at common law to be orderly pursuit of happiness by free people."

"Freedom - The state of being free; liberty; self-determination; absence of restraint; the opposite of slavery.

The power of acting, in the character of a moral personality, according to the dictates of the will, without other checks, hindrance, or prohibition than such as may be imposed by just and necessary laws and the duties of social life. See Liberty.

The prevalence, in the government and constitution of a country, of such a system of laws and institutions as secure civil liberty to the individual citizen."

"Right - As a noun, and taken in the abstract sense, means justice, ethical correctness, or consonance with the rule of law or the principles of morals. In this signification it answers to one meaning of the Latin "jus," and serves to indicate law in the abstract, considered as the foundation of all rights, or the complex of underlying moral principles which impact the character of justice to all positive law, or give an ethical content. As a noun, and taken in a concrete sense, a power, privilege, faculty, or demand , inherent in one person and incident upon another.

Constitutional Rights

There is also a classification of rights, with respect to the constitution of civil society. Thus, according to Blackstone, "the rights of persons, considered in their natural capacities, are of two sorts, - absolute and relative; absolute, which are such as appertain and belong to particular men, merely as individuals or single persons; relative, which are incident to them as members of society, and standing in various relations to each other." 1 Bl.Comm 123.

Rights are also classified in constitutional law as natural, civil, and political. To which there is sometimes added the class of "personal rights."

Natural rights are those which grow out of the nature of man and depend upon personality, as distinguished from such as are created by law and depend upon civil society; or they are those which are plainly assured by natural law; or those which, by fair deduction from the present physical, moral, social, and religious characteristics of men, he must be invested with, and which he ought to have realized for him in a jural society, in order to fulfill the ends to which his nature calls him. Such are the rights of life, liberty, privacy and good reputation.

Civil rights are such as belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in a wider sense, to all its inhabitants, with the organization or administration of government and are not connected. They include the rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the law, freedom of contracts, trial by jury, etc. Or, as otherwise defined, civil rights are rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. Such term may also refer, in its very general sense, to rights capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action. Also, a term applied to certain rights secured to citizens of the United States by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, and by various acts of Congress (e.g., Civil Rights Acts) made in pursuance thereof. See Bill of Rights; Civil liberties; Civil Rights Acts.

Political rights consist in the power to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration of government, such as the right of citizenship, that of suffrage, the right to hold public office, and the right of petition.

Personal rights is a term of rather vague import, but generally it may be said to mean the right of personal security, comprising those of life, limb, body, health, reputation and the right of personal liberty."

If a human (a natural person) has a constitutionally secured, guaranteed and protected right, does that individual need to ask permission from the government to responsibly exercise that right? The correct answer to this very important fundamental question is an emphatic: NO!

In the American constitutional, compound republic, a Citizen may lawfully do anything as long as he or she does not harm someone else, damage someone else's property or violate someone else's rights. These are very broad and far-reaching limitations because with rights come grave responsibility. An Individual must always be accountable for his or her action(s) or lack of lawful action(s). There is always a consequence for violating a true law.

Those in government, at all levels, must first confirm that they have constitutional authority to ask a Citizen to do, or not do, something. They must also have constitutional authority to do anything in their official capacity. To do otherwise is a violation of their constitutional "oath of office".

"Any government powerful enough to give you everything you need, is powerful enough to take everything you have away." Thomas Jefferson

We the People must learn what our Liberties, Freedoms and Rights are in Pennsylvania and in the United States of America and constantly require that all those in government strictly follow their constitutional "oath of office" according to the original intent of our founding documents.

We all need to read, study and understand the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the Constitution for the United States of America, and network with other freedom loving Citizens. When told by those in government that we have violated a law, we must confirm what is the law and to whom it applies.


Benjamin Franklin

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


October 2017


Twitter Feed

Reader Photo Galleries