Ownership – Religion and Politics

You open the door to your house or apartment, you walk inside, and plop yourself down on the couch, or in your favorite chair. It’s been a hard day! You spent it at work, earning money to buy the things that’ll be found in your refrigerator and cabinets after your arduous trip to the local store.

That first sentence contains a critical word, the word “your.”

If you rent, do you actually own that apartment or house? The technical answer is of course, “No.”

Even so, you count the place to be, yours.

Your ownership of that place may not be something you can legally claim, but for as long as you’re a resident, you can make an argument that it’s your home.

That doesn’t take the right from those who actually own that living space, to evict you if the circumstances appear to warrant such activity.

Guess what, I own a house. The truth is, I don’t own that house, the mortgage lender does. That said, it’s still mine. Yes, it can be repossessed if I fail to make the mortgage payments.

In case that’s not enough clarification, I owe taxes on my property. If I refuse to pay those taxes, the government has the right to take that which I count mine—even though I’m technically not its real owner.

All of this said though, it’s fair to count your house, owned by you or not, yours.

The same applies to your car, the aforementioned groceries, and the appliances, clothes, toys and electronics found where you live. True, some may have come with the place, and by extension, may be owned by the people renting or leasing it to you.

Other than such circumstances and those where you’re borrowing, renting or leasing things though, the things around you can generally be counted as owned of you when sitting in your domicile.

That ownership is not some sort of criminal or morally evil thing. You went out and bought the food in your house to keep you and your family alive. It’s likely you didn’t buy a whole lot of substance you weren’t intending to consume.

The result is, if someone opens your front door and walks in without permission, you have every right to defend yourself from their trespass.

If that same intruder walked up to your cabinets, pulled out some of the food you bought, and a pan or two, and started cooking themselves a meal, you would certainly be shocked, and most likely call law enforcement or take action yourself (though that’s not likely to be a pretty thing).

Argue to your heart’s content, a person’s doing that is based on some sort of “western value system.” As for me, the security and comfort that comes from having a place to live, and food I know will sustain those in my household, are a must. Can I live without them? I can and I have. Even so, it’s not desirable to do it.

I doubt seriously I’m alone in that.

Here’s the funny part, if you invade the home of a rich person, and he or she has no recourse, chances are good he or she will just go to another residence, potentially distant from the one you just breached.

Put simply, that rich person has security beyond what most others can claim.

For someone of modest means, that’s typically not the case.

When you take the right of ownership, the wealthy find ways around your dictates, and go about their merry way. The poor have no such flexibility by and large.

That means when people are denied “private property,” it’ll invariably be those with less, that suffer.

I wanted to take just a moment to discuss another idea.

I’ve heard it said, there are or were societies in which people didn’t own things. I should say that this is a misstatement. The actual argument is that the things they owned were supposedly open for the use of others in that group.

To begin with, they initially possessed that which they used and held. Additionally, they likely utilized what they did with zero challenges by others around them.

Even when folks came and took of their assets though, it can be largely assumed such activity was cleared with the owner.

There’s a simple reality, when people take that which others have in their hands without reason or question, there is no courtesy in society. Further, if I make it a practice to abscond with something another had in his or her living space with no concern for him or her, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that if I’m predisposed to evil, I may practice wrong regardless the outcome.

So a person who’s worked to ensure he or she has food for a period, may have that food “stolen by” someone else in their area, who’s not even in need. He or she now has nothing, while the person having come for what they held, has food to spare.

Is this reasonable? I submit it’s not.

You may not like it, but those around you are not all fair-minded, moral or ethical people. Folks do things they ought not on a regular and ongoing basis, with nary a care what results from their actions.

It may be true that there’re innocent people in jails. That doesn’t mean nobody in those facilities of incarceration is bad, or evil. And just because a person doesn’t find him or her self in detainment, doesn’t make him good or right.

Murders are committed every day by people, some of whom have shown antisocial or even sociopathic tendencies. They’re also perpetrated by “normal” people; sometimes with no apparent motive. Those doing bad and wrong are not only found among the usual suspects.

You may consider ownership to be some sort of wrongheaded world view. I challenge you to consider the little or much you possess being the potential target of the uncouth and uncaring. Where does your right to ownership end, and their right to take that which you’ve carefully worked to keep, begin? For my part, I fully support the idea of private property, not to be taken or used without permission, by those to whom it doesn’t belong.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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