Letter to the Editor: Do your patriotic duty

“The Signing of the Declaration of Independence” by Howard Chandler Christy, a painting currently on display at the U.S. Capitol. Image courtesy of Architect of the Capitol

The notion that you have an unfettered right to refuse to be vaccinated is just wrong. Although our constitution guarantees certain freedoms to individuals, not one comes without restrictions. You have the right to speak, but not cause a stampede in the theater, worship as you please, but not perform human sacrifice, to bear arms, but not to carry a sawed-off shotgun. You only have the right to be free from searches that are unreasonable, without probable cause. Our constitution clearly puts community, society, the nation ahead of the rights of the individual. The Founders read and incorporated the works of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Kant. These political theorists refined the idea of the “Social Contract”. They deplored the notion of an absence of political order or a “State of Nature” in which the individual owed no duty to members of society. To avoid anarchy, we all enter a sacred contract with others to establish a political community, a civil society. All of the rights we enjoy in our republic are granted in return for acceptance of this sacred duty to respect and defend the rights of others. The Founders embraced this duty to community and nation. Just as our nation has the power to deny us many freedoms, even conscript us to go to war to defend our society, so too can society demand that we do our duty in this war against a deadly pandemic. Do your patriotic duty. Get vaccinated to protect yourself, your community, your country.

Mark Roye

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