There are times when human rights become human wrongs. This happens when rights become more than a defence of human dignity, which is their proper sphere, and become instead a political ideology, relentlessly trampling down everything in their path. This is happening increasingly in Britain, and it is why the Pope’s protest against the Equality Bill, whether we agree with it or not, should be taken seriously. (…)
Indeed, at the core of human rights is a religious proposition: that we are all, regardless of colour, creed or culture, in the image of God. That religious vision burned brightly in the minds of those such as John Locke, who first formulated the idea of rights in the 17th century.It was integral to the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal [and] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” John F. Kennedy made a similar statement in his great inaugural address: “The rights of Man come not from the generosity of the State, but from the hand of God.”
That is why using the ideology of human rights to assault religion risks undermining the very foundation of human rights themselves. When a Christian airport worker is banned from wearing a cross, when a nurse is sacked after a role-play exercise in which he suggested that patients pray, when Roman Catholic adoption agencies are forced to close because they do not place children for adoption with same-sex couples and when a Jewish school is told that its religious admissions policy is, not in intent but in effect, racist, we are in dangerous territory indeed. (…)
When Christians, Jews and others feel that the ideology of human rights is threatening their freedoms of association and religious practice, a tension is set in motion that is not healthy for society, freedom or Britain. Rather than regard the Pope’s remarks as an inappropriate intervention, we should use them to launch an honest debate on where to draw the line between our freedom as individuals and our freedom as members of communities of faith. One should not be purchased at the cost of the other.
The Pope is right, says Rabbi Sacks – Times Online
febbraio 4, 2010 di channelman