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The Pope is right about the threat to freedom | Jonathan Sacks – Times Online.

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.

Annunci

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Credo: religions tell us who we are and what we need to be -Times Online.

From The Times – October 31, 2009

Credo: religions tell us who we are and what we need to be

Atheists tend to think religion is all about God but that doesn’t explain its tenacity

Jonathan Sacks (Lord Sacks is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth)

Atheists tend to think that religion is about God. Of course it is. But if that is all it is, it would hardly explain religion’s tenacity and power, its hold on the human imagination, and its strange capacity both to unite and divide.

Religion is also about identity. It is an answer to a set of questions that science cannot answer, perhaps cannot even understand. Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I belong? Of what story am I a part? How am I connected to those who came before me? How then shall I live? (altro…)

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Albert Camus once said, ‘The only serious philosophical question is why should I not commit suicide?’. I think he was wrong. The only serious philosophical question is, ‘why should I have a child?’

Dalla 2009 Theos Annual Lecture dal rabbino capo delle United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Lord Johnathan Sacks, che comprendeva anche altre perle…. che evidenzierò in seguito.

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Credo: We must guard love in this world of easy pleasures -Times Online

Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks – Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

One day I was called on to officiate at two funerals. The families involved were old friends of ours, but they lived in different parts of London and did not know one another. In both cases, the wife had died after a long and happy marriage. One couple had just celebrated, and the other was just about to celebrate, their diamond wedding.

What was striking was that both husbands said the same thing to me, in virtually identical words: “I loved her as much as the day we first fell in love.” To hear that once, after 60 years of marriage, would have been rare. To hear it twice on the same day seemed like more than mere coincidence. (altro…)

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Without conscience there can be no trust. Without a shared moral code there can be no free society. Either we recover the moral sense or we will find, too late, that in the name of liberty, we have lost our freedom.

Credo: Without a shared moral code there can be no freedom in our society -Times Onlinetorah2031

Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks – Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

(….)

Concepts like duty, obligation, responsibility and honour have come to seem antiquated and irrelevant. Emotions like guilt, shame, contrition and remorse have been deleted from our vocabulary, for are we not all entitled to self-esteem? The still, small voice of conscience is rarely heard these days. Conscience has been outsourced, delegated away.

So, in place of an inner code, we have regulatory authorities. Where once people believed that God sees all we do, now we have CCTV and video surveillance. When self-imposed restraint disappears, external constraint must take its place. The result is that we have created the most regulated, intrusive society ever known.
And still it fails, and will always fail, because without a sense of responsibility to others, people will always find ways of outwitting the most sophisticated systems. (altro…)

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