At least one professor points out that there is a distinction. “Once one provides an essential definition of rights, he is confined to what that is,” Sannon Holzer points out in The Imaginative Conservative. “If one defines the object (right), then they do so by embracing the object the Founders called rights.”
“That definition suggests that these things called rights are grounded in God’s endowment. As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.'” Holzer is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas and Houston Baptist University.