It gave me pause to hear the President speak about “universal human rights” the other day when asking the leaders of Egypt to not slaughter their own people. Is there a list of “human rights” somewhere that is “universal?” There is a declaration of human rights from 1948 by the United Nations, but that was back when America backed that up and demanded it. If you read through the list, there are only a handful of nations that pay any attention to them. We are the only Nation on Earth that pays attention of all of them.
Americans derive our claim to the rights that we have from the Christian God not the United Nations. Commonly people jump to the passage “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . “ in the Declaration of Independence though that ignores the fact that Jefferson was referencing “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” in the previous paragraph.
Since the Bible and the Christian religion are available to all then I suppose that the rights detailed in our founding documents are available to all. Yet it took several thousand years to be realized in the form that those rights were granted in 1787. Further it required the force of arms to both gain them and later to protect them. Liberals have been chipping away at them for the last 100 years.
The people of Germany, Italy, Bosnia, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, El Salvador, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines and scores of other countries have a shot at human rights because Americans made it so.
I think that we must make a distinction as well between our Christian God and those of other cultures. It doesn’t appear for example that Allah grants “universal human rights” nor does he support equal rights for women. Certainly Buddha’s followers have never created any free societies. The pantheon of Hindu gods have not either. Even in the West, while good Christians hammered out a Republic in America, the Godless intellectuals of the “Enlightenment” created despotism in France. Note that no guillotine stained the streets of the fledgling United States with blood.
So “Universal Human Rights” might very well be the intent of God, but the instrument of the delivery of Human rights on earth seems to be Americans.