Been toying with a few ideas of late around equality.
Increasingly we hear about rights; human rights, gender equality, gay rights, even animal rights. So many causes, so many injustices, so many gaps in what’s right and wrong.
At least as we perceive it.
But if I were to say women don’t deserve rights it would cause an uproar.
Or maybe that I insist that white Anglo-Saxons deserve more than those of a darker skin. Again the absurdity.
So what underpins these rights?
Why do we believe “all men are created equal”? Or that we deserve human rights?
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “we are all born free and equal”. Says who? Why?
If we reverse a few centuries this was not self-evident. This was not the accepted norm.
In fact, women and children were property of the male patriarch. Some people born a certain race were enslaved and seen as inferior. This isn’t even that many years ago – and incidentally in many parts of the world is still the case.
So what sets us apart? Why in the West are we so concerned with the unalienable right of a human?
Well, it stems from what many in the West are now trying to rip apart. Its roots are found in our Christian heritage. Not our church heritage nor our religious heritage but our Christian worldview.
Underpinning the Western principles are the Christian worldview that helped shape our society. Equal rights, children’s rights, gender rights, slave rights, education rights, are all founded on Christian principals, dating back 2000 years ago where a “radical Rabbi” questioned the status quo.
Jesus turned the world of antiquity on its head. He challenged the men to treat their wives as equals. He praised children and spoke of their value. He welcomed the isolated, the sick, the widows, the orphaned and instructed the community to look after them.
As we systematically chip away at the foundations of faith, claiming as Nietzsche did, that God is dead (or never existed), I can’t help wonder what new foundations we are forming. What systems of government, what policies of support, what moral compass is now being elevated?
If we are to embrace that all people are created equal, that we deserve a “fair go”, seeking human rights, gender rights, racial rights, then maybe it is also time to consider where those rights emanate from. What worldview is set at the foundation of such a view.
For equal rights, human rights, gender rights are not something that should be taken for granted. Nor are always experienced, even today, in various parts of the world.
Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that these rights find their root back in the sacrifice of Jesus … who changed the course of the whole world!