Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Human Rights - It's us and us, not us versus them.

Human rights apply to all humans.  It's not a cafeteria.  We don't get to exclude or withhold rights based on gender or nationality or whether or not we agree with someone's religion.  Human is human.  We don't get to reclassify some people as less than human and therefore undeserving of human rights because of random criteria we pick or establish.  Religious and political beliefs are frequently used to do this and justify taking away others' human rights.  I believe that we are morally and ethically obligated to cultivate an awareness of and to consider our collective humanity at all times in relation to how we live and conduct ourselves daily.  Difficult, yes.  Necessary, absolutely.   

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Just one example:

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

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