Daniela Del Razo
April 25 2014
Human Rights Issues
Nelson Mandela once said, "To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity." This quote is a powerful tool that can help one analyze and understand the severity of failing to guard the rights of their neighbours. When one person forcibly removes or denies another of their God-given rights, they are taking away that persons freedom, and ultimately committing a sin against God. The purpose of this essay is to prove how failing to protect and respect others rights is detrimental to ones relationship with God. Through examining some of the basic human rights in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and various Sacred Scriptures, one can come to understand the importance of human rights and their correlation with the Catholic Faith.
On December 10th 1948, the United Nations established a very important document known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations 1). This document was written shortly after the second World War in an effort to secure the rights that belong to all people. Although this document proved to be somewhat successful in bringing peace and harmony amongst people, remains an abundance of unjust acts taking place in the world. The official teaching of the Catholic Church has acknowledged the positive value of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Pope John Paul II declared it to be, "A true milestone on the
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path of humanity's moral progress." (Doctrine of the Church, 152). Although an agreement can be made upon the multiple benefits of this document, there still remains an abundance of violations against human rights that decrease the moral standings of those who preform such acts and those who chose to simply look away when these acts are being committed. The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that " All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood" (United Nations, 1). However there are around twenty-two thousand children that die everyday due to poverty related causes (Shah, 6). How is it that over one hundred and thirty-three million pounds of food are carelessly discarded every year in the United States of America while thousands of children are suffering worldwide due to malnutrition (Obradovich 4)? This valued document states individual rights yet it can not ensure that everyones rights are protected, which is why there are numerous lives that are taken due to the careless negligence of those who choose to turn a blind eye to the individuals whose rights are being stolen everyday. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a tool that can help one understand some of the basic human rights, however one must go beyond simply informing themselves on what human rights are. Once these rights have been read and understood, the value of human rights and their importance must be taken into consideration when making a moral decision to stand-up for those whose rights have been stolen.
It is imperative that one recognizes the value of human rights in order to preserve them for others and strengthen ones relationship with God. "The movement towards the identification and proclamation of human rights is one of the most significant attempts to
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respond effectively to the inescapable demands of human dignity" (Doctrine of the Church, 152). In this excerpt from the Church's Magisterium, one can find that the Church directly connects human rights to human dignity. One must first identify their rights and those that belong to every individual in order to do everything in their power to protect their rights and those of other individuals. It is in doing this that one can make a positive change in others lives and fulfill their needs for human dignity. Too often, people place...