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Family ties and the natural basis for property

Yesterday a friend called my attention to news reporting that a group of “mainstream” GOP leaders have come out in support of the judicially fabricated “right” of homosexuals to marry. Predictably this group included Ken Mehlman, the elitist faction GOP’s poster child for the campaign to force public approval of homosexual behavior.  But it also included former U.S. Senators Alan Simpson and Nancy Kassebaum, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Citing Barry SmallLogoLTLGoldwater’s view that “the day’s overriding political challenge…is to preserve and extend freedom”, the group’s signed statement contended that homosexual marriage involves “the Conservative’s first concern…maximizing freedom.”

I suppose that for some the backing of such an elite corps is supposed to “prove” that the acceptance of this judicially fabricated “right” is now as “American as apple pie”.  Actually it is further evidence that the GOP’s quisling leadership is pulling out all the stops to achieve the elitist faction’s goal of discarding the understanding of liberty as a God endowed right, which is the foundation of constitutional self-government in America.

In the Declaration of Independence, America’s founders included liberty among the Creator endowed unalienable rights that governments are instituted to secure. By numbering it among such God-endowed rights, they included in the purview of liberty only those uses of freedom that merit the name of right because they involve actions informed by the standard or rule of right enacted by the Creator.  America’s founders respected the simple fact that, as an unalienable right, freedom may never extend beyond the boundaries of “right, as God gives us to see the right.”  They called unbounded freedom “licentiousness”, and constantly warned that such licentiousness poses a fatal threat to the liberty of the people.

Whether through ignorance or malice contemporary GOP leaders such as those who signed the reported statement on homosexual marriage have apparently abandoned the founders’ solicitude for the good sense and moral character of the American people.  They now carelessly, or purposely promote an understanding of freedom that no longer respects the natural boundaries enacted by God to respect the requirements of humanity.  In material terms, these requirements begin with fulfilling the natural law by which the Creator predisposes all humankind to preserve, reproduce and perpetuate humanity, individually and as a whole.

The natural family’s claim of unalienable right is connected with this, the Creator’s disposition of human nature. But this basis for the natural family’s claim of unalienable right is substantially the same as that which upholds all natural claims of property right, including the claim to unalienable rights, such as they are.  Such varied thinkers as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Marx all, in some way, traced the right of ownership to the undeniable property each individual has in his or her own body. The bodily activity by which one assimilates a natural product to one’s own use withdraws it from being the common property of all creation. It marks and transforms it into being the particular belonging of the person who has undertaken the activity.

The most intimately individual way of producing such a belonging involves the exertions whereby, in the natural course of procreation, the human species is reproduced and perpetuated.  Natural human procreation produces the most direct and tangible belonging, plainly represented by the umbilical cord which ties the mother to the child brought forth by her labor. By way of verified empirical reasoning (including, eventually, the scientific method), the advance of self-conscious human knowledge has confirmed that the father’s participation in human reproduction is, from the beginning of the child’s life, almost as direct and tangible as the mother’s. His participation therefore gives rise to the same mutual belonging that ties the natural mother and her child to one another.

“This is my child.”  This assertion of belonging has in principle the very same basis as “This is my body.”  With respect to human beings, nature itself proclaims this truth because, in the natural course of things, her child’s body is, during the first months of its existence, wholly contained within the mother’s. It is as if the two are one flesh.  It turns out that this is literally the case, but not so much with respect the unity of mother and child within the mother’s body, as with respect to the natural unity of mother and father in the substance that informs the child’s body. (We know it as DNA.)  Either way we look at it, however, it confirms the mutual belonging that ties parents and their children together as a whole, in a way of living that unites their separable beings with almost the same natural wholesomeness as that which unites the components of the body into the physical whole they mutually sustain. This is the way of living characteristic of the natural family: individual beings, bound to one another in a union informed by the Creator God, by way both of the flesh and conscientious human willing (consent).

This is, as it were, an organic union. So the forcible separation of natural parents and children from the body of individuals they form together represents, in principle, the same injustice as a violent assault upon an individual’s body. It is like cutting away or damaging the body’s heart, its liver, or some other vital organ.  It is therefore the paradigm of all crimes against separable property. In reaction against it, a humanly natural (and therefore self-conscious) sense of belonging vehemently asserts itself.

But this vehement reaction against injustice is rooted in the same sense of obligation that more gently asserts itself when the mother acknowledges the mewling, helpless infant as one who, though physically apart from her after birth, remains nonetheless a part of her being. She continues to participate in the experience of the child, as she did before the child’s birth, so that the child’s needs and discomforts are felt with almost the same immediacy as her own.

(Indeed the Bible represents this acknowledgement of oneself in the other as the moment that signifies that God’s intention for human nature has been fulfilled. When Eve is presented to him, Adam at last experiences the representation of himself in God’s Creation (finds among the creatures a being like himself), expressing this new found quality of consciousness in words of ownership, for which his body is the touchstone of belonging—“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;…”

The presence of the one God fashioned from Adam’s flesh, as Adam was fashioned from the dust, provokes Adam to speak in words that denote self-recognition (my bones, my flesh).  Ironically, as we know it, the woman’s flesh is formed for procreation in a way that represents this basis for human self-representation.  Like Adam’s rib, every child comes out of her body. And she cares for the child because her heart is open to seeing what Adam saw when he opened his eyes and beheld what God had made of him—“bone of my bones…flesh of my flesh;….”)

In this way the natural course of human reproduction gives rise to the self-conscious sense of separable belonging. It is the primordial instance and paradigm of humanity’s natural sense of separable property. This natural sense which leads us to recognize some objects not comprised within our bodies as our belongings, identifying them with ourselves in much the same way as we identify our children as our own.

As they consider the significance of issues that affect our respect for the God-endowed natural family, how many of America’s contemporary political leaders have even attempted to think this through? Some GOP leaders purport to be staunch defenders of individual property rights.  Yet they treat the attack on the natural family’s unalienable rights, now in fully cry, as a secondary issue, even though its success eviscerates the very concept of individual (i.e., self-conscious) ownership.  The socialists they claim to oppose know that this is a key prerequisite for advancing their ideology.

Uprooting the idea of God endowed unalienable rights is critical to their agenda. Without the concept of individual property, the logic of unalienable rights collapses.  But if the claim of individual ownership that arises in connection with the most undeniable belonging the body can produce gives rise to no property right the government has to respect, what other claim of individual property right stands any chance of doing so?.  If they can induce Americans to cast aside the natural family’s unalienable right, the socialist ideologues will therefore not only take out the moral understanding that upholds America’s political liberty, they will also fatally undermine the logic that upholds our individual economic liberty.

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