December 12, 2008

Rights become negotiable....

Charlene pointed me to these paragraphs from a piece in the Weekly Standard, Human Rights at 60:

....How did we arrive at this dismal state of affairs? The problem is not simply that human rights have become grossly politicized. The problem is that rights have been profoundly secularized--and severed from their deepest moral foundation, the concept of man as the imago Dei, the image of God.

Under the banner of 'multiculturalism,' the United Nations has produced a torrent of treaties and conventions, with ever-expanding categories of rights. In the process, the Western idea of rights as transcendent claims against a coercive state has been greatly weakened. Human rights are on the same footing as social benefits and economic aspirations. Thus, we have the spectacle of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development inviting North Korea--a regime that sustains itself by starving its people--to become a member in good standing. We have nations such as Iran claiming an 'inalienable right' to nuclear technology, language that in fact appears in Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Where is Thomas Jefferson when you need him? When human rights are no longer considered the gift of nature and nature's God, human dignity is made more vulnerable to assault. When repressive regimes are rewarded with membership and voting privileges in U.N. bodies, the entire human rights project is debased. The political result is that fundamental rights--the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion--become negotiable. In the end, they become disposable....

That rights can be negotiable is exactly what the Fathers of this country opposed. "The rights of Englishmen are derived from God, not from king or Parliament, and would be secured by the study of history, law, and tradition." -- John Adams

I despair about these and similar things. Our rights erode before our eyes because we won't think clearly about them. But of course it is always a small minority of human beings who will think clearly about ANY subject. If we are dependent on thinking we are toast, and that's always been the case.

Which is why � you liberals needn't bother reading this; you are probably too far gone to get it � which is why tradition is valuable above almost anything. Individuals don't think, but cultures slowly ruminate, with God's help, and codify wisdom in the form of tradition.

The wise person will consult tradition first, and cherish it because it will be in many ways wiser than he can ever be.

And those who wish to destroy us will attack tradition. Will sneer at it, and undermine it. For instance by inventing new "rights" to destroy the traditional Anglospheric belief that rights are inalienable, which is to say that they are bigger than us, and not something we create.

And the attacks being made on our rights and traditions are always disguised as things beneficial. Liberals today often assert that we have a "right" to health care. This is an extremely evil thing in itself (That's a subject for another post) but it is also a very insidious attack on our rights because who could dare be against health care? How could one be so cold-hearted as to be against such health? How easy it is to denigrate that person, to say they are heartless, and want people to die.!

Posted by John Weidner at December 12, 2008 7:51 AM
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