While popularly attributed to Georgia State Representative Mitchell Kay, Snopes reports this piece was actually written by self-described philosopher and Libertarian Party Senate Candidate Lewis Napper. Even Ann Landers got that wrong.
We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to our great-great-great-grandchildren, and ourselves, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, deluded, and other mentally weak folk who surround us.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.
ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but No one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This nation is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone – not just you! You may leave the room, change the channel, express a different opinion, etc., But the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be. Accept it.
ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone truly in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.
ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us try to see you fry in the electric chair.
ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a car, a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
ARTICLE VIII: You don’t have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won’t lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you want to. However, we are not required to parent the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our blood and money battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
ARTICLE IX: You don’t have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to freely pursue happiness – which, by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
Note that America is not an isolated nation, an island in a sea of storms. The prevalence of global communication and transportation have made it impossible to remain isolated in the way Lewis propounds. Not only is it impossible to remain isolated, it is unconscionable to leave humans to die horribly at the hands of “every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.” Particularly for Christians, we are not called to tuck our heads in the sand, crossing our fingers and hoping everything works out. Instead we are called to live with a passion for others physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom and salvation.
Besides Article VIII, this list is definitely something which might just do some good taped to a whole lot of walls, required reading prior to submitting any court claim, read every night on the evening news, and set as a filter through which every bill must pass before it can even be considered on the floor of any house of government.
By the way, this post makes 200. I, Pandora has been averaging 70 visits a week for a while now. It’s been a lot of work (I’ve tried blogging two other times before I, Pandora) posting nearly every work day since beginning of February, but it has been very rewarding. Maybe someday soon I’ll tell just how rewarding.