Thursday, February 13, 2014

Where do rights come from? God.

“The tradition of American civil rights is a noble — and fragile — enterprise grounded in the belief that all people have inherent rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…" Truths? Created? Creator? Almost makes you think the American Founders believed that God exists and that rights flowed from Him.

This declaration is a moral precept grounded in centuries of Western history. But as the Founders and countless others understood, any claim of rights must have at their source the belief that man indeed possesses "inalienable rights." Religion, in other words, is the wellspring of the morality that shapes and guides the culture. In our world, Christianity (and Judaism through it) is that wellspring.

Human rights then, depend on a religion that serves as the source of a shared moral tradition and shapes a consensus on basic matters of right and wrong. If that tradition is abandoned the consensus shatters, and our ideas of what constitutes a human right are shorn from their moral moorings. (Think a moral tradition doesn't matter? Reflect on Islam and see how its notions of rights differ from ours. Not religious? Think of the blood spilled over Nazism, Marxism, and other utopian replacements.)”

This quote is from this article.

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