Thursday, May 9, 2013

What about the Thirteenth Amendment...

Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee asserts that repealing Obamacare would be a violation of the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment.

From Allahpundit:
Speaking on the House floor, Jackson Lee said the right to these services can be read into the Declaration of Independence, which preserves the rights of Americans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 
“One might argue that education and healthcare fall into those provisions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she said. Jackson Lee also praised President Obama for fighting for these rights. 
“I think that what should be continuously emphasized is the President’s leadership on one single point: that although healthcare was not listed per se in the Constitution, it should be a constitutional right,” she said.

Now I think that we can make a strong argument that Christian morality (and simple human decency) requires that we provide healthcare to all who genuinely need it. I treat patients without regard for their ability to pay. I always have and always will. I conduct at least a quarter of my patient visits in Spanish, and many of my patients are (I'm sure) illegal immigrants. I don't ask, and they get exactly the same care as my well-off patients.

That's just the right thing to do. But it is not a Constitutional right to receive free healthcare, or a free education, or nearly anything free. We have no right to the labor of others. Our Constitutional rights are negative rights-- the right to be left alone to do as we will in certain areas, such as political speech, political assembly, religious exercise, etc.

Even those Constitutional rights that involve the government giving something free to a citizen-- a free attorney for example to a criminal defendant-- really involves giving a citizen a way to protect himself from the government.

Morally, it is right to provide all who genuinely need it with healthcare, education, food. But it is not a Constitutional right to be provided such, for two simple reasons:

First, it is not in the Constitution.

Second, the Constitution already has a provision prohibiting anyone in this country from having the legal right to the fruit of the labor of another.

The Thirteenth Amendment:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

12 comments:

  1. "Now I think that we can make a strong argument that Christian morality (and simple human decency) requires that we provide healthcare to all who genuinely need it. I treat patients without regard for their ability to pay. ..."

    There is a vast difference between,
    on the one hand:
    1) *you* expending *your* time and treasure to perform charitable works;
    2) you working to persuade others to join you in performing and/or financially supporting your charitable works;
    and on the other hand:
    3) you organizing with others who aare inclined to "charity" so as to use the compulsive power-and-violence of the State to compel others to "contribute" to your charitable concerns.

    The *refusal* of Catholicism to acknowledge this distinction is why Catholicism will always churn out leftists, and why it will always organizationally support the leftists -- who desire only to enslave us all ... and, incidentally, to destroy Christianity.

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    1. Ilion:

      I agree with you, mostly. The Catholic Church has been far too tolerant of leftist ideology in its ranks, and that has been very damaging to the Church and to all of us. It provides credibility to those who should not have it.

      But there is another side to this. There is a very strong conservative group in the Church, and the Catholic Catechism and papal letters do not support leftism-- socialism and communism are specifically condemned.

      And there has been no more stalwart organized opposition to communism than the Catholic Church. When the Orthodox Church was licking commie boots, and Protestant churches (Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians) were sending delegates to worship Fidel Castro, Karol Wojtyla and countless priests and bishops were risking their lives to bring down communism.

      In 1949 Pius XII excommunicated all Catholics who collaborated with communists. Fidel Castro was excommunicated in 1962. Many Catholics, and the Church itself, have stood bravely against communism and the left.

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    2. Nazis and other rightwing dictators, not so much.

      -KW

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    3. "Nazis and other rightwing dictators, not so much.
      "

      Of course, Hitler and Mussolini were leftists -- you know, like 'KW' is.

      But, even aside from that, 'KW' lies about the Roman denomination.

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    4. @KW:

      [Nazis and other rightwing dictators, not so much.]

      Actually, the Catholic Church was the only major institutional opposition to Nazism in occupied Europe from 1935-1945. European labor, industry, media, arts, education, military, etc folded under the Brown Shirts like lawn chairs.

      And the Soviet Citadel of Atheism signed a non-aggression pact with their fellow Socialists to carve up Poland and swallow the Baltics.

      An atheist criticizing a Catholic about Nazi collaboration is a joke, right?

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    5. Michael,

      And the Concordat that the Catholic Church signed with Hitler in 1933? In exchange for the Enabling Act which gave Hitler dictatorial powers and the abolition of other political parties, including the two centralist Catholic parties?

      There were individual very courageous Catholics who opposed Hitler during the years you mention. Unfortunately, as a whole, the Catholic Church didn't oppose Hitler. Pope Pius XII was primarily a diplomat, and relied on diplomatic measures to deal with Hitler.

      Hitler wasn't concerned by diplomatic measures. If German Catholic bishops were aware of the crimes of the Nazis, then they spoke out against them as the bishop of Munster, von Galen, did in relation to the T4 so-called euthanasia program.

      The Vatican was aware of the Holocaust as it was occurring. But didn't inform the German Catholic bishops to take similar action.

      It's also arguable whether the Vatican would have preferred Nazi Germany winning the war as opposed to the Soviet Union.

      Stalin was very worried (rightly) about Hitler in 1939. The Soviet Union was Poland's only practical hope in defending itself against German aggression (as shown by the uselessness of Britain's and France's declarations of war).

      But the western allies and Poland refused Stalin's offer of a pact. So he opted for the illusion of a non-aggression treaty with Germany, extra territory to act as a buffer and the continuing 'goodwill' of Hitler by doing nothing to upset him, including continuing to supply Germany with resources right up to the German invasion.

      Stalin didn't have any faith in the will of the western allies after Chamberlain's shameful capitulation over Czechoslovakia in Munich.

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    6. "An atheist criticizing a Catholic about Nazi collaboration is a joke, right?"

      It's a sick, twisted joke.

      But then, everything about atheism is sick and twisted, including most things about atheists.

      Delete
  2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMay 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    The original Judeo-Christian conception of charity was intended to benefit both parties. Just as it was a duty to help those in need, it was also important for the individual serving that need to voluntarily surrender something valuable (money, time, etc.). A personal gift, personally given, encourages gratitude on the part of the recipient and sacrifice on the part of the giver. Both benefit.

    The modern conception of forcibly seizing the property of one person, giving it to another party, and doing so via a hired intermediary as an "entitlement", benefits neither party. Rather than gratitude and sacrifice, that process teaches greed and resentment.

    Thus, you witness the toxic (and deadly) culture of the now-permanent underclass and the poisoning of our political process.

    And, actually, the right to health care is in the Constitution. Specifically, Article 42 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1977) reads as follows: Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection. This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by state health institutions...

    So Rep Jackson is correct, it's just the wrong country she's talking about.

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  3. I do believe there should be open access to health care.
    Not elective treatments, not cosmetic surgery (with rare exception) and not at the expense of the provider.
    It should be free for those people who cannot afford it. I also believe there is PLENTY of money for such an endeavour, if it diverted from less worthy stuff.
    I just find the current model(s) severely lacking in scope. Especially national models like the NHS and Obamacare. Provincial and state models are flawed also, but at least have local controls and can be improved upon as local requirements see fit. I have very little idea on how exactly it could be implemented 'bug free', but then I will extend that sentiment to free policing too.
    All the points made in the comments seem perfectly reasonable to me.
    I should also add to Dr Egnor: I think it is admirable that you do not force payment on patients who cannot afford it and treat anyone that arrives with the need. Seems you actually hold your oath dear, and that is becoming increasingly rare with physicians.
    Hat's off, Mike.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMay 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      The problem with unlimited, government-provided (albeit non-elective) medical care is simple: the Tragedy of the Commons.

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  4. I'm glad you get it, Dr. Egnor. All anti-discrimination laws amount to involuntary servitude and are therefor unconstitutional.

    JQ

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  5. M.Egnor: "The Catholic Church has been far too tolerant of leftist ideology in its ranks, and that has been very damaging to the Church and to all of us. It provides credibility to those who should not have it."

    That's because the Catholic Church -- the organization, and the people who control that bureaucracy -- are leftists and/or leftist sympathizers. And, ultimately, that's because Catholicism, as an ism, hates that there be anything not under its control, whether we're talking about "the wealth of nations" or the souls of men.

    M.Egnor: "But there is another side to this. There is a very strong conservative group in the Church, and the Catholic Catechism and papal letters do not support leftism-- socialism and communism are specifically condemned."

    Yes, there are Catholics who consistently oppose leftism. But, Catholicism merely condemns leftism on paper: in the realm of actions, and when it matters, Catholicism constantly and consistently allies itself with the leftists, and advocates for more and more governmental intrusion into everyone's lives.

    For example, the *only* reason the American bishops are *now* against "0bamacare" is because their tits got caught in the wringer -- they, as an organization and as individuals, were quite happy to help get "0bamacare" enacted ... when they thought it would enslave only you and me. When it turned out to also apply to the One True Bureaucracy, that was a bridge too far!

    M.Egnor: "And there has been no more stalwart organized opposition to communism than the Catholic Church. When the Orthodox Church was licking commie boots, and Protestant churches (Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians) were sending delegates to worship Fidel Castro, Karol Wojtyla and countless priests and bishops were risking their lives to bring down communism."

    The Orthodox have *always* licked the boots of whomever held the sword. Why hold it specifically against them for doing the best they could see to do to survive under the Soviets?

    Those (ahem) Protestant denominations that licked Castro's spleen (think about it, visually) also happen to be moribund. As well they should be. Protestants aren't so much into that whole One True Bureaucracy thingie, so when their bureaucrats pervert the Gospel, they don't find it so traumatic to align themselves with a different bureaucracy.

    Yes, once the mass murders start, even the One True Bureaucracy can figure out that socialism needs to be opposed. BUT -- and this is the important part -- they refuse to learn the lesson that the mass murders are but the inevitable outworking of the logic of socialism: and so, they keep pushing socialism!

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