Thursday, August 25, 2005

God and Private Property

In addition to the booing, what riled me up about last night's CAO public hearing was that "God-given" quote:
"When I bought my property, there was a 50-foot wetland buffer. Now the whole street is a wetland buffer. Thurston County has made my land useless," said Rainier resident Alana Love. "I am fighting to restore my God-given right to do what I want with my property."
Ms. Love and I probably don't go to the same church, but here is what mine has to say on that particular topic: You have a God-given right to hold property, but not to do whatever you want with it.
Christian tradition has never upheld [property rights] as absolute and untouchable. On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation: the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone.

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