Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jacques Maritain and Natural Law: Résumé of Rights

AT THE END OF HIS REFLECTIONS on the theory of natural law and its application to the moral, political, and economic problems that confront modern man, Maritain provides us with a résumé of those rights, natural, based upon the ius gentium, or advised by positive law or the circumstances of the time. It is important to note that not all of these are natural rights. It is also important to understand this within the entire context of Maritain's teaching on natural law, natural rights, and justice. In this post, we will list those rights using, as far as possible, the words of Maritain.

Jacques Maritain

Rights of the International Order
  • The right of each State, large or small, to freedom and respect for its autonomy.
  • The right to the respecting of solemn oaths and the sanctity of treaties.
  • The right to peaceful development (a right which, being valid for all, requires for its development the establishment of an international community having juridical power, and the development of federative forms of organization).
Rights of the Human Person as Such
  • The right to existence.
  • The right to personal liberty or the right to conduct one's own life as master of oneself and of one's acts, responsible for them before God and the law of the community.
  • The right to the pursuit of the perfection of rational and moral human life.
  • The right to the pursuit of eternal life along the path which conscience has recognized as the path indicated by God.
  • The right of the Church and other religious families to the free exercise of their spiritual activity.
  • The right of pursuing a religious vocation; the freedom of religious orders and groups.
  • The right to marry according to one's choice and to raise a family, which will in its turn be assured of the liberties due it.
  • The right of the family society to respect for its constitution, which is based on natural law, and not on the law of the State, and which fundamentally involves the morality of the human being.
  • The right to keep one's body whole.
  • The right to property.
  • The right of every human being to be treated as a person, and not as a thing.
Rights of the Civic Person
  • The right of every citizen to participate actively in political life, and in particular the right of equal suffrage for all.
  • The right of the people to establish the Constitution of the State and to determine for themselves their form of government.
  • The right of association, limited only by the juridically recognized necessities of the common good, and in particular the right to form political parties or political schools.
  • The right of free investigation and discussion (freedom of expression).
  • The right to political equality, and the equal right of every citizen to his security and his liberties within the State.
  • The equal right of every one to the guarantees of an independent judiciary power.
  • Equal possibility of admission to public employment and free access to the various professions.*
Rights of the Social Person, and More Particularly of the Working Person
  • The right freely to choose his work.
  • The right freely to form vocational groups or trade-unions.
  • The right of the worker to be considered socially as an adult.
  • The right of economic groups (trade-unions and working communities) and other social groups to freedom and autonomy.
  • The right to a just wage.
  • The right to work.
  • Wherever and associative system can be substituted for the wage system, the right to joint ownership and joint management of the enterprise and to the "worker's title."
  • The right to relief, unemployment insurance, sick benefits, and social security.
  • The right to have a part, free of charge, depending on the possibilities of the community, in the elementary goods, both material and spiritual, of civilization.
Maritain, 96-98.

*The text has a misprint on page 98, stating "venous" instead of "various."

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