Unfortunately we have too many elected officials who seem to have forgotten that the primary purpose of government is to protect individual liberty. Many individuals across our state and nation are facing a devastating choice: whether to take a vaccine they do not want, or to leave their jobs, forfeiting their means to provide financially for themselves and their families.
Individuals who work in certain industries, such as healthcare, are especially at a disadvantage. At a time when we are facing shortages of personnel and an increase in patients, many are being forced to leave the vocations they love and have been called to do, because they chose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
People who do not understand the true role of government argue that it is not the appropriate role of the government to regulate businesses. But, the truth is, the government regulates businesses all the time, at both the state and federal level. Indeed, during the regular session of the 87th Legislature, members voted for dozens of bills to regulate businesses, including to protecting consumers against vaccine discrimination.
The principled question to ask is whether the purpose of government is to protect businesses or to protect the rights of individuals? And to answer that question, you need to understand Natural Law as the underpinnings of our foundational documents.
Natural Law is recognized as a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct. The Declaration of Independence itself mentions the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
Our founding fathers were familiar with and motivated by those such as Frederick Bastiat who articulated the concept of natural rights in his book, The Law.
What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Each of us has a natural right―from God―to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. – Frederick Bastiat
Natural law applies at the lowest level: the individual.
The primary purpose of government must be to protect the rights and liberties of individuals, not businesses. When the rights of the individual are being violated, it doesn’t matter where the threat originates¾whether it is the government, a private entity, or another individual.
There are already laws on the books restricting people, entities (such as employers) and government itself from infringing on individual liberties and prohibiting discrimination. These laws exist to protect the dignity and freedom of individuals to live freely, and without undue oppression or discrimination.
The COVID restrictions and vaccine mandates we are currently experiencing―whether from employers, federal or state executive orders, state, or local governments―are effectively creating two classes of people: the vaccinated, and the unvaccinated. And, especially at the federal level, businesses are being coerced by the government to take actions that would be illegal if those same actions were taken by the government.
It is illogical to shun people and treat them as if they are infected with COVID-19, when they simply have not received the vaccine. While there is nothing wrong with using non-discriminating sensible safety protocols to prevent actual sickness from entering the workplace, we must not automatically treat the unvaccinated as if they are sick or the only people who are infectious.
Especially now that we are finding that those who have been vaccinated can both contract and spread the disease, it is absurd to treat the unvaccinated as modern-day lepers. They should not be the scapegoat for the failed policies of the government response to the pandemic.
Since we now know that unvaccinated asymptomatic people do not spread the COVID-19 virus, no one should be coerced or forced into being vaccinated. Every individual should be able to retain complete control over what goes into his or her own body.
For nobody can transfer to another more power than he has in himself, and nobody has absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. – John Locke
Let us never forget that the primary purpose of our American form of a constitutional republic is to first protect individual liberty from both businesses and government.