“The Bible is the Book upon which this Republic rests.” Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States.
God told Adam and Eve and their posterity, concerning the earth and the things thereon, “subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” [Genesis 1:28] After Cain slew his brother Abel “the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” [Genesis 4:9-10] And God punished Cain for his misdoings unto his brother.
God gave them dominion over the earth, but he did not over each other, else God would never have punished Cain. Cain’s action against the life and freedom of his brother set him in conflict with this the law --- all that is right.
Moreover, any violation of the freedom of another is consistent with a form of death:
If I were asked to answer the following question: WHAT IS SLAVERY? and I should answer in one word, IT IS MURDER, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required to show that the power to take from a man his thought, his will, his personality, is a power of life and death; and that to enslave a man is to kill him.
P. J. Proudhon. What is Property? (1840)
When a person’s life or an aspect of their life is put in a cage, when it is imprisoned, when their freedom is withheld from them, freedom to enjoy their life and property --- enslavement is death.
The naming of the self has been long held as a self-evident, inalienable right, and one which is of highest value:
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls;
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
W. Shakespeare. Othello Act III, Sc. 3, Line 155 (1604)
When a person owns nothing else, they always still own their name, and the name or names they have, whether chosen by parents, or by one’s self, truly, it is property far more valuable than money or jewels, or riches of this world. And when one filches a name or chosen indicator from another, taking it from them against their will --- truly, it is like a robber holding it for ransom with no intention of handing it over, except by the terms the robber sets; and even then, in the robber’s corrupt state, he is prone to change the terms of the ransom on a frivolous or selfish whim.
Among autonomous control over the development and expression of one’s intellect, interests, tastes, and personality, to take on a new name and abandon the old, or to self-determine even that one indeed has multiple names and to use those different names in varied circumstance is a most ancient and time honored right.
When Abram took upon him the name Abraham (Genesis 17:5), and also when Jacob took upon him the name Israel (Gen 35:10) are both clear examples. “And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel” There are other instances in which people even went by multiple names such as Peter or Cephas, meaning a stone, or Simon (John 1:42) or Simeon (Acts 15:14), and Saul or Paul (Acts 13:9). Jesus gave Simon/Simeon the name Peter, and Peter chose to take it. And even in some passages he went by both names together -- Simon Peter (2 Peter 1:1).
So, one may have multiple names, which are each and all a person’s lawful names. Name, whatever is chosen or accepted by a person at will, it is or becomes their representation unto whomever they interact. For as they own this very aspect of themselves, it is theirs to choose by their very mind, will, and word. So if a person chooses to have one name under one circumstance and another name in another situation — it is their right and will for their life. Furthermore, it is not an act of deception. It is like the decision of whether to wear a blue shirt one day and a yellow shirt on another day. It is a right of freedom and liberty.
And likewise, all expressions and indicators of the self are one’s right to determine. Self-will is unalienable. Like choosing to wear whatever colored shirt one chooses, to self-determine how one outwardly appears and socially categorizes one’s self is equally a natural self-evident right. If one chooses a gender or a gendered name which others think is not appropriate, it is not within the right of others to force another to represent themselves in a way which the hindered feels falsely represents them. It is the right of each person to self-determine their representations of themselves. This is the embodiment of personal freedom and sovereignty. For a servant of a sovereign to falsely represent their master in the master’s affairs, is to violate the master’s right to live their life in personal truth and freedom. What others think is irrelevant, so long as the master is not hindering the rights of others.
Government servants themselves have a responsibility, a duty to uphold the rights of the people they serve. If they did not, then the servants would rule over the master and the master’s house. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.” (John 13:16)
Part Two -- The Right to Non-Misrepresentation of Identity