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Rights and Responsibilities
Transcript of Rights and Responsibilities
Has this worldview always been so obvious?
Types of Discrimination
What type of "power" do Jesus and the Christian martyrs display?
St. Thomas More
"To claim one's rights and ignore one's duties, or only half fulfill them, is like building a house with one hand and tearing it down with the other."
Pope St. John XXIII
Right to what and for what?
Rights and Responsibilities
Building with Both Hands
+5 Ways to Discern We are Relational+
+Image of God+
Worship & Prayer
Freedom & Morality
Culture & Education
Friendship & Love
Ancient Roman Empire
The Revolution of the Person
The Revolution of the Person
In Ancient Rome only 10% of the population had rights and dignity.
Judeo-Christianity invented the concept of "human dignity" and "universal rights" in the Western World.
The Catholic Church permeated the Roman world with a worldview that endowed
persons with dignity. We gave everyone "faces."
Our Western World, to a large extent, has been shaped by the Christian worldview of equality, love, justice, and mercy.
Why is this so important?
-- We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . .
Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
-- Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
American Democracy's Necessary Values
-- No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian religion….
Should our Republic ever forget this fundamental precept of governance…this great experiment will then surely be doomed.
Equality of Dignity
All people are equal before the law and therefore no one is above the law. Everyone is insured their basic rights that are necessary for their survival and freedom.
Freedom of Conscience
From the protection of one's deepest beliefs of right and wrong, good and evil, we have the freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly.
Coronation of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III
Scripture Passages on Equality
-- For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
-- Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an ambassador and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child, Ones′imus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful[b] to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will.
Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand, I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
Civil Rights Movement
Letter from Birmingham Jail
“Like the early Christians, we must move into a sometime hostile world armed with the revolutionary gospel of Jesus Christ. With this powerful gospel we shall boldly challenge the
"You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression ... If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream."
Is it good to completely separate religious truths and politics?
– threats, harassment, or physical harm that is motivated by prejudice against someone's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability.
– a feeling or attitude toward the members of some group based solely on their association with that group
– over-simplified generalizations based on assumptions about the "typical" characteristics of members of a group.
– harmful actions directed against persons whom one has prejudices about.
- Collective failure of a organization to provide adequate and equal services because of color, culture, or ethnic origin.
What recent movie/book does this remind us of?
Roman Empire Facts
The father of a family could kill his children without being questioned
About half of the population were slaves
Abortion and infanticide were commonplace
People were sexually violated frequently
This reality corresponded to their
- a particular philosophy of life or conception of reality
With rights come responsibilities to not only uphold and promote those same rights in others but to also actualize the things we have rights to as well as we can.
"And I discovered then that religion had to become real to me, and I had to know God for myself. And I bowed over that cup of coffee. I never will forget it …. I prayed a prayer, and I prayed out loud that night. I said, “Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think the cause that we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now. I’m faltering. I’m losing my courage. And I can’t let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage they will begin to get weak. And it seemed at that moment that I could hear an inner voice saying to me, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And to I will be with you, even until the end of the world.” …I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
...as he sat at his kitchen table one night trying to figure out how to escape the Civil Rights movement...
To what do we have rights? Why?
The Catholic & Natural Law Perspective
What is the twofold dimension of "responsibilities" as related to rights?
Hint: Think about whom our rights are related too -- society and God.
Universal Call to Martyrdom
"Martyrdom is a Christian normality, everything else is a departure."
Exitus & Reditus -- Life & Faith
Martyrdom is a Christian normality
- "He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to them all, “
If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
Martyrdom is a Christian responsibility
Live Like a Martyr by Marc Barnes
21 Coptic Martyrs
Christ said, “I am the Truth”; he did not say “I am the custom.”
We are all responsible for promoting the well-being of others.
We are responsible toward God first and man second.
When you hold fast to what is true and good, expect to suffer persecution.