the concept of “human rights” is ONLY found in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The idea of “human rights” is so much a “given”and so transparent to us that we are totally unaware of just how radical and unusual that concept actually is.
I mean, what OTHER thought tradition has that as a foundational principle? The idea that everyone, regardless of their behavior, is a son or daughter of God is quite revolutionary in human thought. And yet it is the basis for ALL our law!
In the amazing words of Walt Whitman, who experienced the Civil War (and this poem is only 10 lines long, so read the whole thing!):
For my enemy is dead—a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin—I
I bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face
in the coffin.
Those are not the word of a Genghis Khan. Nor are they the words of a Julius Caesar. These are words that show an underlying culture of Christianity!
Word over all…