Feb. 3, 1959, became known as “the day the music died.” May 7, 2019, will become “the day human rights died” in Vermont.

“What?” The answer is plain as day. If you do not have the foundational right to exist, you do not have any rights. You just have privileges the state grants to you.

There is a huge difference between rights and privileges. A human right is a part of who you are just because you are a human being. No human person gives you your human rights and no human person can take them away from you.

A privilege, on the other hand, is something that can be granted, and also can be taken away, by people with power over you.

Consider this new “right to abortion.”

The moment a woman is born with her mother’s consent, that newly born woman is granted the “right” to abort any of her future children. Now consider just one day or less before her birth. She does not have that same right to abort her future children because she can still be eliminated by an abortion.

In fact, she has no rights — to education, to health care, to not be abused, assaulted, or killed, to housing, to anything — just because she has not been born. Because she has no right to live, she has no rights at all.

The answer will only be found in a society founded on love rather than power. Power asks the less powerful to make a sacrifice for the sake of the more powerful. Love accepts a self-sacrifice for the good of the other, especially the less powerful. We know that we have the power to make others die, do we have the love to help others live?

Gesualdo Schneider


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