| QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
recognition of the
freedom, justice and peace in the world,
rights of all members of the
the equal and inalienable
inherent dignity and of
human family is the foundation of
Seeing Christ in Human Rights
The Anglican Examiner
|Everyone is entitled to all the rights
and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration, without distinction of any
kind, such as race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be
made on the basis of the political,
jurisdictional or international status of
the country or territory to which a
person belongs, whether it be
independent, trust, non-self-governing
or under any other limitation of
|When you think of your experience of Jesus--in scripture, tradition, reason, and
--What suggests that we are entitled to freedom?
--What evidence do we have that Jesus makes no distinctions of the
kind listed above?
--Are there distinctions Jesus rejects that are not mentioned above?
In your view, does the language of Article 2 of the Declaration:
--Limit the forms of discrimination that should be rejected?
--Apply only to governments or nation-states?
|The Church and Labor
When I think of my experience of Jesus in the scripture, tradition, reason, and spiritual
experience: It is with great belief that in St John chapter 4 suggests that we are entitled to
freedom when Jesus provides evidence and makes no distinction to journey into a territory
that is forbidden to Jews to offer freedom to a woman. Jesus rejects all the distinctions
that could prohibit one from having all rights and freedoms to a woman that is bound by the
political, religion, sex, race, other opinions, social origin, and other status. In my view,
Article 2 of the declaration it does not or should be limited to forms of discrimination that
should be rejected in governments, nation-states and religious order.+++Comment here+++
|Shirley, a student at Princeton Theological Seminary, said:
|Galatians 3:28 tells that there is to be no distinction based on ethnicity, gender, or economic
status. These 3 categories are certainly encompassed in article 2. Colossians 3:11 takes the
elimination of ethnic/nationality distinctions further by adding that in addition to there no
longer being Greek or Jew, there is also no longer barbarian or Scythian,and that under
Jesus Christ, all are seen as equal. In Acts 2:1-11 the Holy Spirit, which Jesus had
promised to send, descended and cause people to speak in “divided tongues” (v.3) and
speak in “other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability” (v.4). The Holy Spirit did not
respect one language over the other, but did a miraculous work to ensure that foreign
languages would not be excluded from hearing the good news of the Gospel.
Among the more troubling utterances of Jesus is Christ’s response to the Canaanite woman
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Mt 15:24). Nevertheless, the
ministry of Jesus reveals God for all of us without regard to nationality or any other
distinction. It is significant that Christ’s first revelation in John is to the Samarian woman,
who was a gentile. Jesus ministry is often to gentiles, which demonstrates a significant
rejection of the practices of the time for Jews to reject Gentiles (see also the Parable of the
Good Samaritan). Jesus instructs his followers to “make believers of all nations” (Mt 28:19).
In union with Christ, Jesus’ followers convert people to Christianity without regard to race
(the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch, Acts 8), sex (the conversion of Lydia, Acts 16),
or national origin (the conversion of Cornelius, Acts 10). It is significant that these actions
taken by early Christians must be viewed as acts of Christ, because Luke tells us that Christ
was with these disciples in these actions.
Beyond the distinctions mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Christ
embodies a world that includes all people without distinction. Challenging the taboos of the
time, Christ welcomes followers without regard to age, telling his disciples “let the little
children come to me” (Mt 19:14). Christ also welcomes believers regardless of their past
sinfulness and encourages his disciples to accept believers despite past legal troubles by
urging them to visit the imprisoned. Christ’s model is that we should not limit forms of
discrimination to those listed in the Declaration, but instead should welcome people no
matter their origins or circumstances.
Perhaps Christians should look to the words of William Dunkerley’s hymn paraphrasing
Galatians 3:28 sung in countless Protestant churches throughout the United States: “In
Christ there is no East or West / In Him no South or North / But one great fellowship of
love / Throughout the whole wide earth… Join hands, then, members of the faith /
Whatever your race may be / Who serves my Father as His child / Is surely kin to me.”
First, we are intentionally endowed with free will, self-evaluation, and reasoning power.
Adam and Eve were not marionettes controlled by someone else. Instead, they had full
freedom of choice. Likewise, we also have the same freedom in our lives to determine our
future. Second, the scripture tells us that there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither
slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus
(Galatians 3:38). Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:28).
Indeed, the term neighbor embraces neighbor of all backgrounds in terms of race, color,
language, sex, etc.
Indeed, Jesus accepted people of all backgrounds, such as the Samaritan woman, the tax
collector, leper, prostitute, soldier, etc. Third, Theravada Buddhists, too, believe that all
human beings come from a mother's womb, and we are all, therefore, the same part of one
human family. We should have a clear realization of the oneness of all humanity. In the sky,
there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds
and then believe them to be true (Buddha). We have to accept the hard fact that we all are
one in humanity despite our differences in terms of race, color, religion, sex, language, etc.
It seems Article Two applies only to nation-states. I think that distinction based on leprosy
in the time of Jesus is excluded above.+++Comment here+++
Annie offered this observation:
“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” (Gal 3:28 RSV) is the verse that comes to mind,
for we are all equal no matter our differences. Jesus heals and tends to the outcasts in
society throughout the gospels. God deals with tyrants throughout the Old Testament, and
when a king does not turn to God, he and those with him are punished. The second part of
this article reminds me of Judah, which was independent and then non-self-ruling, yet
throughout they were called to follow God, which included how they treated the poor in
their country. If everyone is entitled to the rights, then everyone is called to recognize the
rights of each person.+++Comment here+++
And on the Sabbath [Jesus] began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him
were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to
him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of
Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here
with us?” And they took offense at him (Mark 6:2-3: ESV)
Here we encounter the scandal of Christianity actualized in Jesus Christ, and subsequently,
the possibility of human equality bereft of distinctions, classifications, and categorizations
testified of in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Most assuredly this is not that a
human being was confessed as Messiah, Christ, or Son of God, died by crucifixion, and
then rose triumphantly on the third day as a victorious, God-like king. Someone being given
rights, prestige, and even divinity on the basis of individual merit, social genealogy, or class
privilege is nothing new. Rather, the scandal of Christianity, and likewise, the actualization
of human rights proper, is that Jesus was somehow the protagonist of the gospel story.
Why is this homeless, illiterate and vagabond preacher whose birth to Mary was illegitimate
(Schaberg 1990), whose class as a carpenter was expendable (Crossan 1995: 25), whose
ethnicity as a Galilean was despised (Elizondo 2000: 227), and whose religion as a Jew was
outcast to the world (Elizondo 2000: 227) being revered in the gospels, letters of Paul, and
throughout Christian history as a royal King? It is not scandalous to claim that Jesus was
God, but it is scandalous to claim that Jesus was God.
|Sam, another student at Princeton, offered this comment:
|Their colleague, James, added:
There are people after Jesus.
They have seen the signs.
Quick, let’s hide him.
Let’s think; carpenter,
disturber of religious comfort.
Let’s award him a degree in theology,
a purple cassock
and a position of respect.
They’ll never think of looking here.
his dialect may betray him,
his tongue is of the masses.
Let’s teach him Latin
and seventeenth-century English,
they’ll never think of listening in.
man of sorrows,
nowhere to lay his head.
We’ll build a house for him,
somewhere away from the poor.
We’ll fit it with brass and silence.
It’s sure to throw them off.
There are people after Jesus.
Quick, let’s hide him.