Writing for The Independent Institute, Wendy McElroy expounds regarding our human liberties, our freedom. She points out how churchmen helped, in this instance, Spanish historian and Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566). She says, “Part of my fondness for Las Casas comes from an insight that occurred to me while reading a collection of his work: namely, all progress toward human freedom can be reduced to the universalization of individual rights.”

She provides good references and states points clearly. Well worth reading. http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5130

In all instances where choices must be made, the individual must come first. Sure, sometimes a sacrifice is inevitable, but we must guard against subverting any individual to any group.

Remember the old “Life Boat” game? It is never okay to throw anyone out. If I jump out of the boat and swim away, it might be considered noble. (Or, it might be considered suicide.) But if you push me out and whack me with an oar, well, that is murder. It remains murder even if my death allows enough supplies for you and the others to survive just long enough to be rescued. You are and remain factually and morally a murderer, and the others are complicit for allowing you to throw me out. We are all in this together. No one in the boat has the divine right to determine life and death for anyone else. We are all mortals, all equal before the law and our creator. No one has the right to determine rights. We know within ourselves what is ours. It is our duty, our calling, to do what is right with regard to everyman. We must honor every individual, as an individual, every time.

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

Isn’t that the key? Be content? Do we not all have the best chance of being content when each of us treats everyone as an equal individual, not as some member of some group or other?

The brutality of the lifeboat is brought into our daily lives by group-politics, so called, identity politics. It is bad. It is coercive. It is against the soul of mankind. It makes us something less than the nobleness of our heritage as free human beings.

I’ll close with this McElroy quote, “As part of human nature, rights are both universal and inalienable; they are not dependent upon government, rulers, laws or customs.”