Peg Luksik: Endowed or Entitled – Your Choice

By Peg Luksik at

Once upon a time there were two brothers. The older would, by birthright,
inherit all that his father owned. A day came when the older wanted
something to eat. He had been outside all day, and was hungry. The younger
had a meal already prepared. The older asked the younger to give him the
dinner. The younger agreed, on the condition that the older would give up
his birthright in return for the free meal. The older took the deal, gave
up his birthright, and ate.

Most of us recognize the story. And we scratch our heads at a person who
would give away an entire birthright for one meal.

We shouldn’t. We are just like him.

America was founded on the recognition that each of us has a birthright of
endowed and unalienable rights. Like all birthrights, it brings the promise
of opportunity and blessing, provided that we honor the responsibility of
protecting and cherishing it. Our birthright cannot legitimately be taken
from any of us, but each of us can choose to give it away. If enough of us
make that choice, the birthright’s promise will be lost to all of us.

Sadly, many Americans are making that choice. They are selling their
birthright of endowed rights for the free meal of government entitlements.
And like the older brother in the story, they are convincing themselves that
their immediate needs are so important that meeting them is worth what they
are losing.

They may not even realize that they are selling one thing to get another.
But they are.

It is not a coincidence that as the number of government entitlements
increases, there is an equal increase in government’s assault on our endowed
rights. The government is slowly changing its own job description from
a protector of endowed rights to a grantor of entitlements. If it completes
the transition, it will also have changed its status from a servant to
a master of Americ’s citizens.

Let’s look at just one example. The government is marketing an entitlement
to health care. Accepting it means allowing the government “entitler” to
determine who may receive what treatment at what cost under what conditions,
effectively selling the endowed right of life. And, since the law
creating the entitlement says the government’s power to make those treatment
determinations is not limited to the individuals who have accepted the
entitlement, the loss of the endowed right is more universal than the
entitlement it has been traded for. Every American will be affected by the
fact that some Americans have decided to sell their birthright.

The younger brother understood the value of the birthright, and he was
willing to give something to get it. He understood that the meal would
quickly end, while the birthright would last forever. His elder freely
chose immediate satisfaction over long-term blessing.

Today’s government also understands the value of our birthright. To get us
to trade it away, that government has created a whole system of enticements,
hoping that we will act like the older brother -focus only on the meal and
forget what we are selling. So far, the tactic is proving to be successful.

The reality is, we can either be endowed, or we can be entitled. An America
where endowed rights are cherished will be free and prosperous forever,
while an America full of entitlements will last about as long as the older
brother’s meal. We all know what we think about that older brother. The
question is, what do we want our children to think when they remember us?

Peg Lutsik is a wife, mom, principled thinker, debater extraordinaire, and
two-time Constitution Party candidate for Pennsylvania governor! A staunch
pro-life leader, she authors the Internet blog, From the Kitchen Table, and
is the founder of the Center for American Heritage. Please take time to
visit her website, .

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