Ch.2: History of Human Rights and Freedoms

The Education Necessary To Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack :  Pensées on Human Life and Freedom (Draft 2.3)

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Chapter 2 : The History of the Long Development of Modern Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms Starting in the 4th Century

 

Brief Introduction to the Original Response Letter to the Particular Threat to Democracy Which Motivated That Letter Being Expanded into this Treatise

It is well said that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat its mistakes, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) [in Canada] has shown great ignorance of history [as have other regulative bodies in the U.S.A. and other countries] and thus have made an exceptional mistake in drafting a new policy that [similar to other countries] will force doctors to facilitate the taking of human lives (against the great medical tradition of healers to Ado no harm”) or else lose their licenses to be doctors in Ontario.  This would greatly impoverish medical care, if precisely those doctors who most value the human lives they treat are not allowed to be doctors (and why should we even trust the remaining doctors who thus violate the ancient and traditional Hippocratic Oath of doctors to “do no harm,” and become “licensed to kill” the human lives under their “care”?  European examples have shown that once they have the right to kill their patients, doctors get used to exercising their own judgement on who lives or dies, with or without consent of the patient or the patient’s family).

There is further a gravely serious aspect of the current discussion about this which most people likely miss, but which stands out clear as day to me as a scholar with a wide breadth of historical knowledge and as a professor of a course approximately covering the First Millennium (precisely 107 AD to 1014 AD), during which period the groundwork for all later human rights and freedoms was laid. The CPSO’s intention to take away a doctor’s rights to refuse to participate (including by referral) in procedures against their conscience, including abortions which end the human lives of the preborn human babies involved (and including the just recently legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide of old and/or sick humans), ACTUALLY UNDERCUTS THE VERY HISTORIC AND LOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF ALL OUR MODERN DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS AND HUMAN RIGHTS. These things only began to be possible after Western Civilization learned to value ALL human life, without exceptions, and to protect human life without exceptions, starting in the 4th Century AD.

What Western Civilization Was Like Before the 4th Century

Before the 4th Century it used to be the norm that human life was cheap, not valued very highly except as it could serve the greater State (whatever form the State took). Governments provided a basic societal stability but had no interest at all in helping individual humans find their individual human fulfillment or even their Alife, liberty and security of person” (Article 3 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights) nor in aiding the human “pursuit of happiness” (U.S. Declaration of Independence) and such.  Governments had no interest in providing health care or education for all their subjects, little if any interest in combatting poverty, and governments could even be the biggest threat not only to individual human freedom but also to individual human lives.  Less advanced civilizations and “barbarian” tribes could be even more truly barbaric, but even in the most highly civilized society, the Roman Empire, the popular entertainment – the “TV” of the day – was public torture and murder in the Roman arenas, where human lives were taken in various ways, such as wild animals tearing them apart, and athletes like gladiators murdered each other with government approval. At the Colosseum in Rome’s opening games alone, an estimated 2,000 gladiators (and 5,000 animals) were killed in bloodsports. No surprise then that in this most advanced and civilized of ancient western cultures where even here human life was so very cheap a “Pro-Choice” philosophy ruled the day, where parents (particularly fathers) had the right to choose whether to raise or kill their children, whether before birth by abortifacient potions and other abortion methods or after birth by exposure or other forms of infanticide. Thus the sewers of ancient Rome were clogged with dead babies who ran afoul of their parents’ choice, and some ancient cities had convenient garbage dumps outside of the city specifically for human children (and girls were particularly targeted for infanticide). Parents could sell their children as slaves, since there were no human rights or basic freedoms.  Slave owners could freely use or abuse their slaves (children or adult) however they wanted, including sexually. Many citizens became slaves if they could not pay their debts, and governments could enslave or kill their citizens whenever they felt it suited them. Fully 1/3 of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves. Slave or free, full citizens or lesser conquered subjects, all were NOT free to seek and find their human fulfillment and meaning in life through searching religion/spirituality or any other means. It was normal worldwide for the government – whether a tribal chieftain, a national king or international emperor or even a republic (as the Roman Republic before the Empire) – to set religious policy, to control what citizens and subjects may or may not believe. The government normally decided which religion was the Official Religion, and which other religions were tolerated and which were persecuted, and to what degree. Religious freedom to seek and find meaning, purpose and fulfilment in life was unheard of.  Even in the ancient experiments with republican democracy as in Greece and the Roman Republic before the Empire, only upper-class free men could have any say in government. Most men and all women were excluded from voting because there was NO PRINCIPLE OF EQUALITY AMONG HUMANS but quite the opposite. Greeks considered the less civilized Abarbarians” to be profoundly inferior.  Roman citizens and subjects might be proud to be part of the Roman Republic or the Roman Empire, the greatest the world had ever known, but they still did not expect their government to necessarily protect either their lives or their freedom.

So what happened to change all this? What led to the human rights and freedoms we have and enjoy today? What turned us from human individuals serving a greater State which frequently threatened both our freedoms and our lives to being human PERSONS who are instead served BY the Democratic State (which is why our political leaders, notably in the British Commonwealth as here in Canada, often now call themselves “Ministers,” led by a “Prime Minister” – because they minister to the needs of human persons, and provide safety and security and freedom to help their citizens seek and find their human fulfillment).

 

What Changed in the 4th Century That Made Modern Human Rights and Democracy Possible

What happened is that in the 4th Century Western Civilization learned that ALL human life, without exception, was inherently valuable and precious, and started to treat ALL human life as valuable and precious. Gladiatorial fights to the death and other entertainment killing in the Roman arenas, and parental “Pro-Choice” abortion and infanticide were soon outlawed.  Further centuries of reflection on this “Pro-Life” conviction of the SUPREME value and EQUAL dignity of every human life without exception would naturally and logically lead eventually to the end of slavery in any legal form in Western Civilization; to International Law protecting the rights of all humans wherever they live; modern democracy (for all, not just upper-class men as in ancient democracy); and human rights, including previously unheard of human rights to health care and education which enhance all our human lives.  Governments from the 4th Century on would be judged and remembered most not by their civic accomplishments built on the backs of the governed, but by the standard of how they treated their subjects – because all human subjects were now seen to be immeasurably valuable.

 

A Brief Overview of the Development of Modern Human Rights, International Law, and Democracy Starting From Their 4th Century First Principles

Where did this great and immensely fruitful 4th Century insight into the supreme dignity and value of all human life without exception, which is at the very foundation of our safe, free and democratic civilization, come from? It came from Western Civilization first legalizing Christianity in the 4th Century (313 AD) and then embracing Christianity’s religious convictions that every human life (male and female – Genesis 1:27) is created in God’s Image and is extremely valuable and precious to a Loving God, and thus that humans must LIVE and be FREE from government coercion so as to freely seek and hopefully find their human fulfillment in this great Truth about humanity’s outstanding value. In fact, the very term and concept of “personhood” comes from Christian theology. Human individuals were not called “persons” until after Christian theologians developed their terminology of One God in Three “Persons” (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Parenthood, Childhood, and the Bond of Love which binds them, a Divine AFamily” who IS Love in its deepest essence, reflected in loving human families made in the Image of the One God who in the ultimate Divine Mystery is a Family of three “Persons”). The Christian message effectively told the government – first in the Roman Empire, then in the later Kingdoms of Western Europe, and in the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire which lasted 1000 years after the Fall of Rome – that any government’s job was no longer to lord it over the lives of human individuals who served the greater State, but that any government’s job was now to provide safety and security for human PERSONS made in the Image of the One God in Three Persons, so that they may be free to seek and find their human fulfilment and a meaningful life as their Loving Creator desires for them. Human individuals had lives that were cheap, and the government could use human lives to serve the greater State, or take or enslave human lives, at will. But human PERSONS made in the Image of the One God in Three Persons had HUMAN RIGHTS rooted in God’s Love for them, starting with the right to Life which is why murderous entertainment and parental abortion and infanticide were almost immediately outlawed, by 318 AD (and remained outlawed until very recently); and human persons had the right to be FREE from religious coercion, free to seek and hopefully find their human fulfilment in this wonderful Christian Truth about their supreme human value which no other religion taught.

Against the pre-Christian worldwide norm of the government being in charge of what citizens may or may not believe, Christianity insisted upon religious freedom not only for itself, since human beings had the God-given right to freely explore and hopefully discover the wonderful truth only Christianity taught about the supreme and equal value of every human life without exception, but also for others, since Christianity by its own principles could not properly be forced, coerced or imposed but must be accepted freely as a free act of love for God in response to God’s love for every human life.  Thus when Roman Emperor Theodosius (baptized Christian in 380 AD), in 381 AD, following the pre-Christian norm of the government setting religious policy, (though he did not enforce Christian practice) started restricting the PUBLIC practice of paganism, making Christianity for the first time the only “official” religion of the State, and then in 390 AD ordered a massacre of revolting pagans, Bishop Saint Ambrose of Milan (where Theodosius held residence) stood up for the human rights and freedoms of pagans too (since Christianity’s new human rights were independent of creed, and included all human lives, even those of non-Christians). At great personal risk since no-one had ever so stood up to a Roman Emperor before, Bishop Ambrose boldly excommunicated the Emperor and did not allow him to enter a Christian Church to receive Holy Communion (hence he had been “ex-communicated”) for 8 months, and Ambrose did not lift the excommunication until Emperor Theodosius had passed a new law Ambrose insisted on which delayed all death sentences from being carried out for 30 days, effectively preventing any rash killing of citizens and subjects by the government, and for the first time limiting the previous norm of governments having the power of life and death over their citizens. The Christian principles of the supreme and equal value of all human lives without exception would continue to CHANGE THE WAY HUMANS ARE GOVERNED, and from this point on, instead of the political State being the highest authority and using individual humans however it wanted, all States would be held accountable to a Truth higher than any State which had revealed in the Bible that slaves and their masters, political rulers and their subjects, were all EQUAL, and EQUALLY PRECIOUS, before God who made them all in love – and therefore slave owners and those who govern were now accountable before God to treat their slaves and subjects accordingly (e.g. Ephesians 6:9).

Jesus had consistently treated women and the lowest classes with great respect and dignity beyond the culture of his day and with great concern for their needs.  After him the New Testament further testified that neither nationality/ethnicity, social class nor status, nor gender make any difference to a human person’s exceptional and equal value before God (e.g. Galatians 3:28).  Thus Christians, who invented hospitals, typically even provided health care and education and charity for the needy to all (Christian or not) wherever they spread as missionaries or as new religious orders, as a service of love appropriate to the great value and dignity of all human beings without exception, and later governments of Western Christian Civilization would gradually start to take this function of providing health care and education and charity upon themselves, since, according to Christian principles, governments now served the people instead of the people serving the State.  Even today, outside of the traditionally Christian nations (whose governments have largely taken over these functions because they adopted Christian values), health care and education is particularly associated with Christianity.  For example, in Palestine, though Christians are only 1% of the population, Christians provide almost 45% of the social services for education and health available to all residents (so it is to the disadvantage of everyone there that current violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East is causing so many Christians to flee for their lives and safety). Historically modern democracy developed only in Western Christian civilization, because the Christian Pro-Life principles of the supreme and equal value of every human life filled in the great deficiency of the ancient experiments with democracy, that human lives were NOT viewed as equal. The Christian understanding of immensely and equally PRECIOUS human persons would ultimately make it most appropriate that each such human person have a say in how he or she is governed, yielding modern democracy, and yielding modern health care and education even described as human rights appropriate to the great dignity of all human life. Unfortunately, after over 1600 years of Western Christian Civilization marked from the 313 AD legalization of Christianity and the 318 AD criminalization of abortion and infanticide because of Western Society’s adoption of the Christian “Pro-Life” principles and the Christian notion of personhood, we now take all these wonderful things for granted having forgotten where they came from! But since the 4th Century the Christian “Pro-Life principles,” human personhood, and human rights have always gone together as a single Christian vision of humanity and they stand or fall together – which is precisely why human personhood is being denied to some humans and democracy is unravelling and being compromised in so many ways discussed in this treatise since the marginalization of Christianity in so-called “post-Christian” Western Civilization.

Still it was a process of development over time and with ever more mature reflection on the Christian Pro-Life principles including human personhood which only gradually gave us modern human rights and modern democracy, because old habits die hard.  From the 4th Century the new Christian ideal Pro-Life principles took many centuries to really penetrate deeply into Western Civilization’s societal mindset, and only gradually did the Christian Pro-Life seed yield more and more of its logical mature fruit.  Thus pre-Christian social class systems, including ruling classes and royalty, and gender inequity, continued well into the Christian Era along with slavery (the lowest of classes!) that accounted for 1/3 of the pagan Roman population.  However, the Christian Pro-Life principles of the immense and EQUAL value of every human life before God was firmly planted in the 4th Century and would naturally and logically grow within Western Christian Civilization to the point that Kings, who Christianity taught from the beginning were equal with the lowest social classes of humans before God, would eventually share their political power with all their human subjects in democracies such as in (Christian) Great Britain’s model (if slow) Second Millennium development of democratic constitutional monarchy (discussed further below).

The Bible testified that humans were supremely and EQUALLY valuable to God their Creator regardless of ethnicity, social class or position, or gender, but only gradually did some of these Christian values overcome the long established pre-Christian norms so as to eventually yield more of their full logical fruit, like the end of slavery as an institution and equal opportunities for equally capable women.  Indeed this process still continues.  Yet the foundations for these were laid in the 4th Century and the long but natural and logical process towards the human rights and equal democratic freedoms we have today began in earnest right away.  Human life was no longer considered cheap but valuable, and protected by new laws. Extremely common female infanticide was almost immediately banned, by 318 AD, 5 years after the 313 legalization of Christianity [I digress here to note it is near the height of absurdity to claim that legal abortion is about Awomen’s rights,” since it has in fact effectively brought back the long-banned common female infanticide in the new form of sex-selective abortions of females just for being female, which in many locations has worryingly skewed nature’s balance of nearly 50-50 female to male births; the supreme height of absurdity is to claim that legal abortion is somehow a Ahuman right,” since it kills a human life in violation of the very first human right, the right to live, on which all other human rights historically and logically depend. Human rights were unheard of before ancient abortion and infanticide were banned].   Slavery and its worst abuses were also reduced and eventually slavery ended in any form in Western Civilization (human trafficking still acceptable in other cultures).  Dedicated Christians like William Wilberforce in Britain insisted the laws reflect those Biblical Christian values that made slaves equal to their owners before God, meaning that it was ultimately entirely inappropriate for any human being to say they Aowned” another.  The lingering after-effects of slavery in the U.S.A. (such as racial prejudice and unequal treatment and opportunities) were also successfully combated by Christians like the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. insisting on Christian values being put into practice at the societal level, bringing about a fuller expression of specifically Biblical and Christian values (this process still ongoing as well).

All of the major developments that built up to our modern human rights and democratic freedoms were conceived of in Western Christian Civilization, and developed from the underlying assumption and starting First Principles of the “Pro-Life” principles rooted in the Christian belief about the supreme and equal value of every human life without exception (whom governments thus serve to help them reach their human fulfilment). This belief itself is grounded in the Biblical and Christian doctrines (teachings) that all human men and women (Christian or not) are persons made lovingly in the Image of God (Genesis 1:27), the One God in Three Persons, who is Love (1 John 4:8), and all men and women are infinitely valuable and precious to God the Father who sent God the Son made fully human as well (Jesus Christ) to die for all human sins against love and be resurrected to a new and eternal human life Jesus would share with all humans who believed in Him, a new human life indwelt and empowered to love by God the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15) who makes human beings adopted children of the Father God who is Love, and who thus makes human beings brothers and sisters of each other in one human family (which ideally precludes war when these principles are lived by on the societal level).

 

The Development of International Law

This is the fundamentally Christian context in which all International Law and justice was conceived, by dedicated Christians. The earliest theorist of International Law, who is thus sometimes called “the Father of International Law,” was Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic Francisco de Vitoria (1483-1546), a Dominican Friar (of the religious “Order of Preachers”), who was recently also named “the founder of global political philosophy” (2009). The basis of his theories of international law was his Christian concern for protecting the human rights (rooted in the Christian Pro-Life principles) of natives in the New World against the Spanish political colonization that was not respectful of the natives or their culture because they were considered “primitive” and “savage.”  Because of the Christian “Pro-Life” principles that all human lives without exception are supremely and equally valuable before God, Friar Francisco de Vitoria argued that European colonists cannot just mistreat natives or take away their property just because they might be “primitive” compared to Europeans. According to Biblical principles, both Europeans and Native Americans are equal before God despite any differences in culture or any disparity between their technologies.  Thus serious practicing Christians like Friar Francisco de Vitoria stood up for all human rights without exception, against the many prejudices against natives of many Europeans on the basis of their more advanced civilization and technology.

The only area where de Vitoria saw it was just for the Spanish to interfere in native affairs was to protect the many victims seized for human sacrifice in the New World civilizations (such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas), since the human rights and human lives of these human victims (mostly other natives, but also captured Spanish colonists and conquistadors) were being violated by the frequent Native American practice of human sacrifice to their gods (about 50,000 a year, more on “special occasions” such as the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, shortly before the arrival of Europeans; the Aztecs own accounts report that they sacrificed “80,400 prisoners over the course of four days”). However much the Spanish colonists still disrespected the natives and their culture or property against de Vitoria’s good Christian admonitions, it is still in the end a good thing, and a victory for human rights grounded in the Christian “Pro-Life” principles, that the Spanish colonists, being used to such basic Christian values in Europe even if they were not ideal practicing Christians, indeed put an end to human sacrifice in the Americas (I doubt you will find any Latin Americans who really wish to go back to their “old-time religion” with its frequent human sacrifices).

The others history honours with the title of “Founders of International Law,” more recent than Francisco de Vitoria but building on his ideas, and more directly involved in the establishment of International Law, were also dedicated Christians working logically from the Biblical, Christian, and “Pro-Life” foundations of Christian Europe: Spanish Jesuit priest Francisco Suárez (1548 – 1617), Alberico Gentili (1552 – 1608), a dedicated Protestant Christian who wrote on theological topics as well as international law, and Hugo Grotius (1583 – 1645), Dutch Christian theologian, philosopher, statesman and diplomat.

 

The Development of Modern Democracy

The specifically Christian British Empire, the largest and most advanced Empire the world ever knew, starting with the 1215 Magna Carta which limited monarchial power from its pre-Christian norms, very gradually and by many small stages developed modern democracy in an entirely Christian context and then spread its (Christian-based) ideals all over the globe through colonization, including the colonization of America, Aland of the free.”  Starting with the King’s power being shared by the Barons, eventually the Parliament in London gradually gave more and more say in government to gradually more and more of the people, entirely in a Christian cultural context and in practical development of the Christian belief in the immense and equal value of all human persons: that regardless of social strata a king and a peasant were EQUAL before God, and equally (immensely) loved by God.  The various colonizations from Christian Europe, for all their sad failures and lack of respect for some indigenous cultures considered “primitive” and “inferior,” still also imported these Christian values of human rights and freedoms worldwide, these taking root to greater or lesser degree in the colonies. Thus it is that Biblical and Christian “Pro-Life” religious values are the historical foundation of all International Law, including all Human Rights – and modern democracy as we know it.

The ancient pagan Greeks who are commonly touted as the first to invent democracy were apparently the first to instead of a monarch deciding things (whether tribal chief or international emperor) hold a vote – but a vote only among higher class Athenian men who were not slaves, slaves who were usually “barbarians” understood by the Greeks, with great prejudice, to be inherently inferior.  Ancient democracy had no concept of human equality.  But modern democracy is fundamentally Christian:  it depends upon the Christian view which Christians introduced into Western Civilization that all humans are EQUALLY valuable and precious (to God who created them) regardless of the many obvious differences and disparities of physical, mental, and even spiritual attributes and abilities between individual humans – differences and disparities which have been used to segregate “classes” of humans with different rights and to enslave (or even exterminate) some of them.  Devout Christian William Wilberforce insisted the Christian value of human equality be put into practice to end slavery in the British Empire. The foundational American principle from the 1776 Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” merely articulated the tradition of Western Christian Civilization and it was pointed out at the time by some[1] that American slavery was incompatible with this (Christian) principle – the fundamental incompatibility resolved through the American Civil War which upheld human equality and ended slavery.  Modern democracy, depending on the Christian view of human equality, is fundamentally incompatible not only with enslavement of some humans but also with extermination of some humans – whether Jewish or preborn, which is why BOTH the Nazi Death Camps and legal abortion in Nazi Germany were condemned at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, legal abortion (even if the mother asked for it) being called (it is important to repeat this fact) “an inhumane act,” “an act of extermination,” and a “crime against humanity” – in the same year (1948) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was made by the still-Christian countries who won the Second World War who had just founded the United Nations – in order to help make sure the gross violations of human rights (rooted in the Christian “Pro-Life” principles introduced by Christians in the 4th Century) perpetrated during the Second World War never happened again. The fundamental incompatibility of abortion and democracy is shown again today by how much the democratic freedoms of doctors and others who believe every human life is equally valuable have to be trampled on by current policies in order to ensure preborn humans can be legally killed by abortion. Just like those who stood up for government-devalued Jewish humans had to be bullied and silenced (and even arrested or killed too), the democratic freedoms and rights of those who object to killing government-devalued preborn humans also has to be curtailed with the various current policies of bullying to silence objectors in order to ensure “abortion access” because abortion is fundamentally opposed to democracy which depends on the equality of all humans and cannot consistently allow the killing of any humans, whatever their age (including the preborn but also the elderly by euthanasia). It is precisely those who most believe in the Christian concept of human equality at the foundation of democracy as we know it (developed only in Western Christian Civilization) who will naturally most object to killing any humans – Jewish or preborn or elderly – and thus it is precisely those Christians (or those with Christian-influenced ideals) who must be persecuted in lesser or greater ways (as especially our doctors and other medical professionals are now) in order to silence them in order to ensure the continuance of either Nazi Death Camps or today’s abortion clinics (and hospital wings which practice abortion or euthanasia).  Our dedicated doctors who most believe in the great medical tradition epitomized in the traditional Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” to human life and in the equality of every human patient who comes to them (including preborn humans in their mother’s wombs and the aged and sick who some would rather euthanize than care for with quality palliative care) are today often scared to speak freely for fear of being disciplined or losing their jobs and livelihood because abortion (and euthanasia) which violate the Pro-Life foundations of modern democracy cannot logically allow doctors and health care professionals who are naturally inclined to object to killing the human lives they serve and treat to have any effective democratic freedom of conscience or freedom of speech.

 

The Historical Source of the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations (UN) was founded by the traditionally Christian nations which won the Second World War against Nazi Germany which had rejected its Christian heritage (the top-level Nazis adhering to an occult mythology which included the myth of the “Aryan Master Race”).  The Nazi government had stripped of their human rights and legal personhood Jews, the handicapped, and others (including thousands of Catholic priests and other Christian pastors who stood up for the Jews), all killed by the government in the Nazi Holocaust.  To help ensure such a gross violation of human rights on such a massive scale never occurred again, in a document profusely steeped in the above Christian tradition of the immense and equal value of all human lives without exception who are all “without distinction of any kind” persons (a Christian-invented term), and steeped in the related tradition in Christian nations of government taking on health care, education, and charity for the needy, functions first carried out in Western Civilization by Christian missionaries and religious orders, the (traditionally Christian) nations of the UN (before the serious decline of Church attendance, when these nations still generally considered themselves Christian) encapsulated the long tradition they inherited of the specifically Christian values of Western Christian Civilization in the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  In an immediate context of long widely illegal abortion which already protected the human rights of the preborn whose lives were not then threatened, but intending to extend the worldwide protection of human lives to as many humans as possible in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust, like the Christian tradition it encapsulates intending to be as inclusive as possible, the Universal Declaration states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind(Article 2),[2] and these rights and freedoms include the full range of the human rights which developed only in Western Christian Civilization (and are frequently absent in non-Christian civilizations and countries):  from the more basic human rights like “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (Article 3) and ”Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law” (Article 6), meant to protect human lives from being killed (or being allowed to be killed) by their government; to the higher order human rights which commit governments to spending money to serve the people they govern and help them reach their human potential, like “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (Article 25) and “Everyone has the right to education(Article 26).  The religious freedom which Christianity introduced into the world because it insisted humans must be free from all coercion so as to seek and find Christian truth, and because it insisted Christianity could not be coerced but must be accepted freely as a free act of love for God, was adopted by the UN in the following words (which are entirely consistent with the Catholic Church’s Declaration on Religious Liberty which represents a mature Christian treatment of the ancient Christian tradition):  “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance” (Article 18).  Even democracy itself, which developed as shown above only in Christian context starting from Christian principles, is at least in some form described in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a human right – one entirely consistent with the foundational Christian Pro-Life principles that every human life without exception is supremely and equally valuable, and is a person (made with the great dignity of the Image of the One God in Three Persons), which is WHY everyone, being so valuable, properly has some free say in how he or she is governed.  Thus the UN affirms: “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives” (Article 21).  I Note that not only democracy can be respectful of human rights, and human subjects have thrived and prospered under “benevolent dictators” such as “a good King” believing in the historic “Pro-Life” principles, while democratic “majority rule” in itself does not guarantee the majority expressing their freedom democratically will accept or choose good and humane things that ensure the long-term continuance of human rights or even of democracy itself (in Germany they democratically elected the Nazi Party to govern them, and then voted Hitler emergency powers which ended democracy.  Long-term democracy cannot be an unqualified “majority rule” but must respect and constitutionally incorporate the historic “Pro-Life” principles foundational to democracy).  But as long as individual human freedom is sensibly limited by the common human good of every human life being recognized as a human person (Article 6) with the full range of the human rights set out in the Declaration, then democracy is a particularly humane and appropriate form of government capable of expressing and preserving all these wonderful human rights grounded in Christian principles and expressed by the then still-Christian nations of UN in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (whatever secularization had already occurred in the name of “separation of Church and State,” in 1948 nobody spoke of a “post-Christian” culture and most were still baptized Christian, affiliated with Christianity and even regularly attended Church).

However, many countries (most especially those without a Christian background) do not adhere to many of these human rights.  In countries where these human rights are acknowledged “on paper,” if this is only due to the influence of the Christian West through colonization or Christian-based International Law, and these truly Christian values have not yet deeply penetrated into the country’s fabric, there can be many abuses of human rights, and democracies set up by the West are often a sham, elections easily manipulated through force, because these countries lack the Christian foundations of democracy.  Even in the Western nations where these human rights are held dear and honoured, unfortunately, after over 1600 years of Western Christian Civilization, we now take these things for granted having forgotten where they came from (which is why we are in danger in the long-term of losing them, as happened in Germany, if we do not educate ourselves in the principles and history of their foundations). Already the very first human right on which all others depend, the human right to live, has been violated on a massive scale with widespread legal abortion of young human lives – legal abortion meaning logically that NO-ONE has any INHERENT right to live just for being human, since all of our human lives could have been legally ended before our births, abortion laws making an age-discriminatory distinction (forbidden by Article 2) that human lives that are too young or too undeveloped, or still located in their mother’s womb, are denied ALL human rights and their mothers may legally choose to kill them and the government will not protect them.  This even though Article 2 clearly states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind,” and even though human rights are ultimately meaningless if just being human is not enough to have them (and preborn fetal-age human lives undisputedly are human, alive, and uniquely distinct from their mothers, with unique human DNA, scientifically.  There will be much more on this below in the Chapter 3 What Does the Science of Biology Say About Human Life and How Does That Properly Inform or Affect Law and Policy (Including Legal Definitions of Personhood)?).

 

Religious Freedom (Fount of All Other Freedoms) Was Introduced into Western Civilization by Christianity. Some Form of Totalitarianism (the Government Deciding What Citizens May or May Not Believe Even on First-Order Questions of Religious and Philosophical Worldview) Is the Worldwide Norm Both Before Western Christian Civilization Starting in the 4th Century and Outside of Western Christian Civilization Since the 4th Century

As described above (and there will be a more thorough discussion of this further below), religious freedom is originally a Christian idea, rooted in Christian beliefs about the supreme dignity of humanity made in the Image of God who IS Love and given Free Will by God in order to Love (since Love is only Love if it is freely given). Remember, against the pre-Christian worldwide norms of the government having the power of life and death over citizens, and the government setting (and enforcing) religious policy, setting the parameters of what citizens may or may not believe, Christianity insisted on human rights for all humans, first of all the right to life and security, and Christianity insisted on religious freedom, even the freedom to reject Christianity after civil rulers started making Christianity the “Official Religion” (hence the Christian protection of pagan human rights in response to the late 4th Century massacre of revolting pagans by the first Christian Roman Emperor to make Christianity the only “Official Religion” of the Empire). Around half of the pagan Roman Empire had already become Christian even before the centuries of violent pagan Roman persecution of Christians ceased in 313 AD, because so many found it worth the threat of Imperial pagan violence to embrace Christianity’s Gospel (literally “Good News”) about the immense and equal value of every human life, each human individual newly named a PERSON (a Christian-invented word!) created in Love by the One God in Three Persons who is Love (1 John 4:8,16):  a loving God the Father who sent God the Son incarnate (enfleshed), Jesus Christ, to die on a cross in reparation of all humans sins against Love which had separated humanity from God’s Trinitarian Family of Love, Jesus as “the New Adam” restoring to humans who believed in Him the lost “likeness of God,” the personal indwelling of God the Holy Spirit which the first Adam (fount of humanity) had lost through sin,[3] the “Spirit of Adoption” (Romans 8:15) who makes humans not mere creations of God but actually adopted children of God. Christians would say this personal relationship with an indwelling loving God is the Divine source of power, even though held in still imperfect, weak and broken human instruments as all Christians are, which empowered Christians – that tiny, severely persecuted sect – to eventually overturn the mighty and brutal ancient pagan Roman Empire and replace it with Western Christian Civilization whose enlightened Biblical principles of God’s tremendous love for humanity developed naturally and logically through history into modern human rights and democratic freedoms. So much of the Roman Empire had become Christian even while Christianity was violently persecuted, that of course once the threat of Imperial persecution was removed much of the rest of the Empire freely followed suit. Then when barbarian tribes overran the Roman Empire, Christian missionaries sent by the Pope all over Europe both converted and civilized the barbarian tribes too, laying the foundations of the later nations of Christian Europe. In all this process of many centuries only a few Christian civil rulers ever tried to enforce Christianity, since Christianity’s own principles insisted that Christianity could not properly be imposed or coerced, but must be accepted freely as a free gift of love for the God who is Love who loved humans first. It was taken as a given that Christianity had the most enlightened principles to guide a human civilization, and so Christianity did not need to be imposed forcefully, for its vast superiority to the previously prevailing religious and philosophical options made it the obvious choice for most in the free religious environment which Christianity had first insisted replace the previous norm of the government setting religious policy. Christianity even allowed the freedom for Christian nations to become secularized, because it is against Christian Tradition to force anyone either to be baptized or to attend Church! It is Important to notice here that however secularized they are, not only are the most free societies with the greatest emphasis on human rights traditionally Christian nations, but also that the countries which are today described by the UN as the most notorious violators of human rights including democratic freedoms are precisely the most markedly non-Christian countries – simply because these countries do not share the Christian foundation of human rights and democracy.  These include Atheist, Communist countries, whose human rights violations include imprisonment, torture, and murder without trial or due process, enforced atheism and various kinds of persecutions of non-atheists (especially Christians – whose idea religious freedom was in the first place!).  Not at all unusual are recent news reports of atheist government human rights abuses such as atheist government officials involved in the murderous harvesting of black-market human transplant organs for sale to the highest bidder, and atheist China just threatened the family in China of Chinese-born “Miss World Canada” Anastasia Lin if Lin does not stop her human rights advocacy. With all due respect to the many very pleasant so-called “moderate” Muslims living in traditionally Christian nations who perhaps were raised from birth in the West’s Christian-based environment of religious freedom, who often practice a “moderate” form of Islam that emphasizes the many truths Islam as a younger “Abrahamic” faith shares with older Judaism and Christianity (I am very happy to work with such Muslims towards a better world on the basis of much wonderful common ground including a common prohibition against abortion and infanticide), I sadly must here point out the simple and undisputable facts that worldwide the biggest violators of human rights also include 26 Muslim countries which have no religious freedom (which was introduced by Christians, as shown above!) but their Muslim governments enforce traditional Islamic apostasy and blasphemy laws by punishing Muslims who change religion (usually to Christianity), and punishing those who criticize Islam, with jail, torture, marriage annulment and loss of child custody,[4] and, in 10 Muslim countries, leaving or criticizing Islam is even punishable by death enforced by the government.[5] These are not Muslim “extremists,” but dozens of Muslim countries who simply follow the precedent of their Prophet founder’s original Islamic Empire as the ideal Muslim State, and those Muslim countries which officially have religious freedom now only got it through the past Christian influence of Christian European colonialism (whatever its defects) and Christian-based International Law. Both before Christianity changed the way humans were governed starting in the 4th Century, and outside of Christianity since the 4th Century, religious freedom is NOT the norm, but government setting and enforcing religious policy is the norm (and officially atheist governments have consistently proven to be among the most oppressive to human rights and the least free, for all the insubstantial bluster of atheists against religion!).

I desire to note that since Christianity itself first insisted on religious freedom, I respect a person’s free choice to embrace Islam as their spiritual path. Further, in the context of today’s religiously free environments which developed only in the traditionally Christian West (because of Christianity’s original insistence on religious freedom), I even count “moderate” Muslims as dialogue partners and potential friends and allies on the basis of much common faith upon which we can together witness to our secularized culture important values it has lost, such as the importance of cultivating a disciplined spirituality and including the importance of not killing children before they are born.  It is true that as a Christian, because of Jesus’ “Great Commission” to proclaim the Gospel (literally “Good News”) of Jesus Christ and the way He made for humans to become not just creations of God, not just subjects of God (“Islam” literally means submission or slavery; a Muslim is “one who submits”), but to actually become beloved adopted children of God, I would indeed want to SHARE what I believe with Muslims, but I understand that God Himself gave them FREE WILL and Muslims, like everybody, are completely free to respond as they will to the “Good News” of the Gospel when they hear it (I am only responsible to proclaim the truth I know; I am not responsible for another’s response, whatever the personal consequences for them of rejecting the Gospel and missing out on its power to bring them into God’s supernatural Family, being outside of which is what Christians understand fallen, sinful humans need to be saved from). As a Christian I would testify to Muslims from personal experience that there is much more to their own virgin-born Prophet Isa (Jesus) than they now understand, and I would strongly encourage them to look into the Christian Tradition and consider joining it for what I consider its unparalleled benefits both to individuals and to whole societies (as shown in this treatise!), but I would respect their choice to remain Muslim and would still want to work with Muslims where possible, on the basis of our substantial common faith, for the betterment of the world (certainly the increase and promotion of “moderate” forms of Islam is in the best interests of the entire world’s safety and security). I even respect any Muslim’s desire to share his or her faith with me, what makes them choose to adhere to it, and I will hear them out if they would like to convince me to become Muslim; a friendly mutual sharing of what each of us has come to learn or understand on our individual spiritual journeys is part of the beauty and strength of the free religious environments which Christian principles of freedom from coercion in matters of belief have given to Western Civilization.

Among that substantial common faith shared by Muslims and Christians, as a Christian I agree with the traditional Islamic 99 Names of God, but I would want to share with Muslims the two names of God missing from the Muslim list which make all the difference in the world – unlike Christianity, in Islam God is not Father and God is not Love, and clearly this lack is why it is so easy for so many Muslims (not just terrorists but whole Muslim countries/cultures) to think they can serve God through violence including both terrorism and violent governmental repression of freedom, enforcing adherence to Islam, in 26 Muslim countries. The Muslim Sufi mystics of all Islamic sects would seem to be closest to Christianity, even sometimes being able to comprehend God as Love – but these are a small minority who have even been violently persecuted by mainstream Muslims for not being “truly” Islamic! While Christianity initially gained huge numbers of adherents freely choosing Christianity despite severe violent persecution from the mighty pagan Roman Empire (because of the wonderful Christian truths about God’s vast Love for all human persons made in God’s Image; the immense and equal value of every human life without exception; and true freedom in Christ for humans given the great dignity of free will by God), in contrast the Prophet Muhammad did not found Islam as an enlightened spiritual path among many to be freely chosen in a free religious environment, but rather as an Islamic Empire which from the beginning gained adherents through military conquest.  This Islamic Empire – spanning from Spain to modern Pakistan within only 100 years of the founder’s death by these “military conversion” methods – after conquest enforced adherence to Islam through violent persecution and/or heavy taxation and restrictions of rights and freedoms making non-Muslims second-class citizens, and this simply continues today in very many Muslim countries.  Thus still today not only those who try to leave Islam, but non-Muslim minorities such as Christians (who used to be a majority in many Muslim areas before the Muslim conquests of the First Millennium) are also frequently persecuted or killed (and/or suffer restrictions) in Muslim countries. Deadly Muslim persecutions of Christians are occurring regularly as I write. Even in Muslim countries which, because of the Christian influence of past European colonization or (Christian-based) International Law, officially allow religious freedom, the Muslim majority often unofficially persecutes the Christian or otherwise non-Muslim minority, taking harsh expressions of traditional Islamic Law not enforced by their government into their own hands (e.g. killing family members who leave Islam for Christianity), and violently persecuting Christians especially during any periods of instability, so common in the Middle East.  While Muslim minorities in majority Christian countries are more likely to be “moderate” Muslims because of the Christian influence, still Muslims can be a great threat to general security even in countries where Muslims are not the majority, but a substantial minority, such as in Kenya, which recently (April 2, 2015) had a Muslim massacre of 147 students who were singled out for being Christian. In Iraq, which is NOT one of the 26 Muslim countries with no religious freedom, still ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) took over the largest Christian city (Qaraqosh) and towns in Iraq and beheaded hundreds of Christian men, women, and children. CNN reported that in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, “ISIS issued an ultimatum to Christians living there: Convert to Islam, pay a fine or face ‘death by the sword.’ ”[6] These are the same choices that Christians were given in the original expansion of Islam in the First Millennium. It makes little sense to claim such attacks are perpetrated “only” by Muslim “extremists,” when “extremists” draw their members from rank and file Muslims who are “inspired” by “extremist” zeal for making and supporting traditional Islamic States under traditional Islamic (“Sharia”) Law (without religious freedom and even advocating slavery) just like the Islamic Empire the Prophet Muhammad himself founded.  It is very significant that even the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 were NOT denounced by the world’s Muslim leaders as being not the work of “true Muslims.”  Only Muslim intellectuals who live in the traditionally Christian West dared to suggest the terrorists were not “real Muslims,” because (thankfully for us) violence and severely restricted freedom and slavery is not part of their personal experience of Islam (because they live in the traditionally Christian West!).  But worldwide, over half of the world’s Muslim countries, often with the highest percentages of Muslims, are notorious human rights violators (including the legal or illegal continuance of the slave trade/human trafficking which is officially illegal in many Muslim countries only because of International pressure from the traditionally Christian West), with no democracy nor religious freedom specifically because of their adherence to the precedent of their founder’s original Islamic Empire. I am very thankful for “moderate” Muslims, I treasure the great common heritage they share with Christians as another “Abrahamic Faith,” and I believe Muslims CAN fruitfully work together with Christians towards a better, safer world, but I note “moderate” Muslims seem to be concentrated in the traditionally Christian West, where they are allowed the religious freedom which Christianity introduced, and (as Pope Benedict XVI pointed out) I note this religious freedom is NOT reciprocated in traditionally Muslim countries, in more than half of which the Muslim government officially punishes Muslims who try to leave Islam and encourages if not participates in the persecution of non-Muslims, especially Christians.  Sadly, such uncomfortable things have to be talked about in any genuine and fruitful dialogue between the traditionally Christian West and Islam, and between individual Christians and Muslims.

There is more on this below, but for now please note the Second Millennium Crusades, whatever their defects, were started specifically to protect the Eastern Christian Byzantine Empire (gateway to the rest of Christian Europe) and the Holy Land Christian pilgrimage sites from aggressive Muslim conquest which would have (like the First Millennium Muslim conquests of Christian territories) likewise violently enforced Islam and persecuted Christians – and which did, since the Crusades were ultimately unsuccessful in protecting Byzantium (Constantinople – now Muslim Istanbul) and the Holy Land, though they did at least delay the Muslim advance and keep the rest of Europe Christian, so that modern human rights and democratic freedoms could and did develop nowhere else in the world but in Christian Europe, developed logically from Christian principles. Atheist Communist or Muslim or otherwise, the most markedly non-Christian countries so readily violate human rights and freedoms precisely because their non-Christian governments do not share the Christian religious and moral conviction about the immense value and worth of all human life without exception. Not sharing this foundation, rooted in specifically Christian religious conviction about God’s infinite Love for all human life made in God’s Image (as persons reflecting the One God in Three Persons), makes democratic freedoms and human rights a very foreign concept to the governments of these countries. And worst of all, history shows, are countries with a Christian background whose governments specifically rejected their Christian heritage: they eventually revert to totalitarian states just like the totalitarian states before Christianity which typically threatened the lives and freedom of their own citizens.  The two worst genocides in history were perpetrated by such governments, who actively rejected and persecuted their countries’ Christian heritage – Stalin’s Atheist Soviet forced starvation of 7 million of my fellow Ukrainians in 1932-33 just as the occultist Hitler’s Nazi Holocaust of 6 million Jews was starting (remember: Hitler’s ideal AAryan Race” comes from occult mythology; thousands of Catholic priests and other Christians who stood against Hitler’s rounding up of Jews as sub-human and no longer protected by the government were sent to the death camps as well). All totalitarian states have in common the rejection of the specifically Christian beliefs about the supreme value and dignity of all human lives without exception.

 

New or Proposed Law and Policy Changes Attack and Erode the Very Foundation of Our Modern Democracies

Because of this history of the development of our modern democracies, it is ridiculous to claim, as CPSO does [in Canada, and as America and many other countries do], that religious and moral beliefs are merely private and have no place in public policy (or in doctor’s offices). The above historical consideration demonstrates that specifically Christian religious beliefs, including the Pro-Life Principles, are NOT MERELY PRIVATE BELIEFS BUT ARE THE PUBLIC FOUNDATION OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS. They are not incidental to them, they are logically essential to them, and where they are lost, human rights and democracy are logically (if gradually) lost, as in Germany and the Soviet Union.  The Pro-Life Principles historically made modern democracy possible in the first place, as demonstrated above, and it is the very best long-term guarantee of democracy, simply because it is only the Pro-Life principles that say every human life without exception MATTERS (immensely and equally) such that every human life must be allowed to LIVE and must be FREE from coercion in living that life: making it most appropriate that each human life has a democratic say in how it is governed. AThose who are ignorant of history are destined to repeat its mistakes.” The legalization of abortion in many countries since the late 1960s and early 1970s ignorantly reversed the banning of abortion and infanticide by 318 AD which had made all subsequent development of human rights and democracy possible because it was the first legal recognition of the immense and equal value of all human lives without exception. Legalizing abortion after this long history of the development of our modern human rights and freedoms flowing logically from abortion being banned is LOGICALLY TANTAMOUNT TO OUR GOVERNMENTS NO LONGER RECOGNIZING IN ANYONE AN INHERENT HUMAN RIGHT TO LIVE, JUST LIKE IN ANY TOTALITARIAN STATE.  If you and I could have been legally killed when we were of fetal or embryonic age, this must logically mean our government no longer recognizes in either you or me any INHERENT right to live just for being human and for being alive.  Others than ourselves decide if we humans live or die: Our mothers before we were born merely allowed us to live (lucky us), and after we were born our government decided to protect our lives with laws.  But note many other governments did not and do not protect all human lives after birth, particularly totalitarian states. But democracy only ever developed in the “Pro-Life” context that taught that all human life without exception was precious regardless of any State’s laws; governments that violated the “Pro-Life” principles by treating their citizens badly since the 4th Century were judged against the principle of supreme human value, higher than any particular State. By abandoning the Pro-Life principles our democracies have already taken the first big step towards becoming totalitarian states such as were common before the Pro-Life principles entered Western Civilization in the 4th Century, and now it is just by simple logic starting from that abandonment decades ago that current new and proposed law and policy changes will take us even closer to exhibiting the characteristics of totalitarian states.

After legalizing abortion and thus violating the most primal human right, the human right to live, and reversing 1650 years of the development of modern human rights and democracy from the starting point of the 318 AD criminalization of ancient “Pro-Choice” abortion because all human life had become recognized as precious (and thus the government had become obligated to protect human life wherever it existed), our other human rights and our free democracies have only held up as well as they have so far because Western Society has been “living off the principal” of the previous almost 1700 years of Western Christian Civilization which made everybody used to the human rights Christianity introduced and the freedoms that flow from them being a given. But now that the “Christian principal” in Western Civilization’s “bank account” has dwindled so much we are naturally seeing more and more of the inhumane results of the return of “Pro-Choice” philosophy and the re-legalization of Pro-Choice abortion in several movements that make it easier and easier to legally kill more and more human lives – and easier and easier to oppress those who still believe in the INHERENT preciousness of human life which grounds our whole free and democratic way of life, meaning the freedoms of all of us are ultimately at risk.  Already none of us any longer have a legally recognized inherent human right to live since the legalization of abortion (all of us born since then were merely allowed to live, by our mothers and by our governments who would have been fine with our mothers killing us), so why should we expect long-term to retain the freedoms which only developed because since the 4th Century Western governments used to think all humans were inherently precious and governments were obligated to treat us all that way?

Already some intellectual Pro-Choicers such as philosophy professors, using their trained minds entirely consistently with Pro-Choice philosophy which argues humans too young and undeveloped and not yet independent do not yet have human rights and can be killed, are advocating the return of Pro-Choice infanticide, the other common ancient Pro-Choice method alongside Pro-Choice abortion, even emphasizing how both infanticide and abortion are essentially the same exercise of Pro-Choice philosophy by calling infanticide “after-birth abortion” (after all, a born baby is only little more developed and only little less dependent than a preborn baby). While these movements thankfully have not yet been successful, there sadly have been very successful movements to legally kill more humans by legalizing euthanasia and the so-called “doctor assisted suicide” which means the government no longer even protects humans from themselves in the moments of weakness we all have when facing new challenges, during which, before we figure out how to overcome new challenges, we might temporarily feel we want to die.  Those who temporarily feel they want to die can now be killed before they have a chance to reconsider that human life is worth living.  Furthermore “doctor-assisted suicide” is really just doctor-killing and where already legal, in practice it quickly devolves into euthanasia, doctors simply killing patients with or without their consent, because killing is so much easier – and cheaper – than caring for human lives or helping them bear their suffering and improve their quality of life within it, now that human life is no longer something that governments are obligated to protect wherever it exists. And naturally along with the loss of governments feeling obligated to protect the Human Right to Live comes the beginning of government oppression of those who stand up for human life, and already people in the U.S. and Canada can and have been arrested and jailed (some even serving longer jail sentences) for PEACEFULLY exercising the democratic rights they thought they had to their opinions, freedom of movement in their own country, freedom to gather, and to free speech, by peacefully protesting the killing of human life near abortion clinics (all thinking humans should be scared that people are already being arrested and jailed for peacefully protesting the killing of preborn humans lives whose formerly recognized personhood was legally defined away, just like the Nazis arrested and jailed those who stood up for Jewish human lives in the same situation).  The doctors who are being turned from healers into killers since human life is no longer protected from harm just for being human life are at the forefront of the degradation of our democratic freedoms and RIGHT NOW (at time of writing) in Ontario, Canada, doctors are SCARED that they can lose their jobs because they value human life like doctors as healers traditionally have – this is not something that is supposed to happen in a democracy!  Already in many jurisdictions health care professionals are scared to speak freely in our supposed democracies, because Pro-Choice abortion access naturally compromises democracy which grew up on the Pro-Life assumption that every human life without exception is precious.  Recent developments like coercing doctors to participate in killing human lives (by abortion or euthanasia) against their will (even by Aeffective referral” to someone willing to kill), OR ELSE LOSE YOUR LICENCE AND JOB AS A DOCTOR, as the CPSO’s new policy will make happen in Ontario, [Canada], strikes at the very heart of not only the doctor’s personal democratic freedoms but strikes at the very foundations of democracy itself, which are the 4th Century Pro-Life principles that every human life without exception is extremely and equally precious, which is WHY it should be protected from harm and even have a democratic say in how it is governed.

 

The Historic “Pro-Life” Principles When Mature Logically Yield Modern Human Rights and Democracy (As They Did In Actual Historical Development) BECAUSE They Mean EVERY Human Life Is SUPREMELY and EQUALLY Precious and Must Be FREE From Coercion To Seek and Find This Truth, THEREFORE It Is Appropriate That EVERY Human Life Has A Say In How It Is Governed; The (Ancient and Modern) “Pro-Choice” Philosophy Wherein Parents Have the Right to Choose to Raise or Kill Their Own Children When Mature Logically Yields Totalitarianism BECAUSE It Means Human Life Is NOT INHERENTLY VALUABLE But Can Be Killed When Deemed Inconvenient

You see, “Pro-Choice” philosophy in the end logically means no government is obligated by any principle higher than the government to protect human lives wherever they are found.  Thus, proceeding from this, Pro-Choice philosophy in the end logically means that the government finally decides which human lives it will protect or kill (or allow to be killed).  But the “Pro-Life” principles in the end logically mean all governments are obligated to protect human lives wherever they are, and whatever they are like – whatever race or ethnicity they are; how young or old they are (that is, what state in the human life-cycle they are, from zygote [fertilized egg] to senior adult); and however sick or handicapped they are.  Thus, logically following from this, the “Pro-Life” principles mean that all governments are accountable to protect human life and freedom and governments are legitimately criticized or opposed whenever they threaten human life and freedom. The “Pro-Life” principles of the West since the 4th Century are the cradle of all human rights and democratic freedoms, and the “Pro-Life” assumptions of our modern Western constitutions is the higher justification for all criticism of totalitarian or otherwise oppressive governments. In contrast, all oppressive and totalitarian governments believe in common with Pro-Choice philosophy that the government is not accountable to any higher principle to protect human lives wherever they are found, but that the government has the highest and final say as to just which human lives it will protect or kill (or allow to be killed).

In consideration of this it should be obvious that the very fact that in the West we easily criticize foreign governments for human rights abuses means we believe in or assume some higher principle or power than a State government, to which those foreign State governments are somehow accountable for their human rights abuses of their citizens’ lives and/or freedoms.  So why do Pro-Choicers look to our own government as if it has the right to decide just which human lives merit government protection and which can be legally killed, as if Pro-Choice abortion (or new euthanasia and “assisted suicide”) laws cannot be subject to any higher principle or power?    If the value of human life is relative and the government’s laws are the final word on the matter, on what logically consistent principle could Pro-Choicers possibly justify saying that Hitler’s legitimately elected Nazi government (after it was voted emergency powers) was absolutely wrong in how it legally devalued Jewish and handicapped and other human lives (including those who stood up for the devalued) and proceeded to treat them (including killing 6 million Jews)? If the value of human life is truly relative and the government decides which human lives can be legally killed, on what logical and consistent basis can Pro-Choicers legitimately criticize ANY other governments for their human rights abuses, including Communist governments which habitually violate human rights (to the point of Stalin’s Soviet genocide of 7-10 million of my fellow Ukrainians in 1932-3)?

If, in the absence of any other principle or authority besides Western Christian heritage that can justify moral relativists criticizing foreign governments for human rights abuses, Pro-Choicers want to consider International Law and the United Nation’s 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights to be a binding authority on all State governments (and very many State governments do not feel so bound), on what logically consistent principle can this be asserted, when Pro-Choicers agree with all oppressive and totalitarian States that human life is NOT inherently valuable and precious just for being human and being alive, which is the only reason why the legal abortion of young, pre-born human lives (with absolutely unique individual human DNA) can be possible? In fact, as discussed above, all International Law and the United Nation’s 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights has a history utterly, completely, and unequivocally steeped in the Christian “Pro-Life” principles adopted by Western Civilization in the 4th Century. From its foundation (by Christians like Friar Francisco de Vitoria) International Law was “Pro-Life” and insisted on human rights even for the most primitive of humans, as a principle higher than particular governments whatever their different cultural values (which in some cases even included human sacrifices). The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written to help ensure gross violation of human rights as in Nazi Germany never happened again, and it was written when abortion was still widely illegal except in Nazi Germany, and the Nazis had just been condemned at Nuremburg for legalizing and performing abortion which was recognized as a “crime against humanity,” an “inhumane act” and an “act of extermination.”[7]  Thus it is clear that preborn humans killed by abortion must have been intentionally included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which in its Article 2 clearly stated its intention to be all-inclusive regarding just which human lives merited the protection of their human rights:  “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind.”  Legal abortion (as that condemned at Nuremburg as “a crime against humanity” at the same time the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written) is pure age-discrimination that “makes a distinction” between which human lives have human rights and which human lives do not (any such distinctions making human rights meaningless, if being human is not enough to have them), against the 1948 intention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Further, Article 6 declares: “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.” As long as humans have been called persons having human rights, persons with human rights have included preborn humans, because “person” is a Christian theological term, inviolable human rights above any State were first insisted on by Christians, and Christian personhood and human rights entered Western Civilization at the same time, with the 313 AD legalization of Christianity, and both personhood and human rights were swiftly put into wide practical effect in specifically “Pro-Life” manner recognizing the human personhood and human rights of preborn humans, specifically by the 318 AD criminalization of abortion (and infanticide) which first protected young human persons in previously unknown ways, both BEFORE and after birth.  Preborn humans were still widely protected from harm (as fitting human persons) in 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written, which is WHY abortion was still widely illegal except in Nazi Germany which was condemned for legal abortion by the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights intended to apply to all humans “without distinction of any kind,” specifically precluding any distinctions which had in the past been used to deny human personhood and therefore human rights to any group of humans (including Black, Native American, female, Jewish – and preborn humans).

It is worth noting that whenever any group of human lives (as those above) is devalued, denied personhood and human rights, one of the next groups to lose their human rights and democratic freedoms is those who stand up to protect the humans whose lives have been devalued. The fact that people are today arrested and some even remain in jail for peacefully protesting the devaluing and taking of human lives by abortion near abortion clinics, just like those who stood up for the Jews whose human personhood had similarly been “legally defined” away were also arrested and jailed, should be a wake-up call to any thinking human. For the safety of humanity, the Pro-Life principles which historically and logically ground all our human rights and our whole free and democratic way of life must be formally acknowledged and enshrined by our governmental institutions.

These Pro-Life principles which ground democracy are at root entirely Christian.  So to restrict the free practice or expression of Christianity in any way is to endanger democracy itself, and to recognize an official, protected status for the Christian religion whose principles historically and logically ground all human rights and democracy is the best possible long term guarantee of democracy (note that this need not be an exclusively protected or recognized status, since Christianity itself insists on religious freedom; see the Vatican’s Declaration on Religious Liberty discussed below in Chapter 5).

 

Christianity’s “Pro-Life” Principles, which are Christianity’s great gift to Western Civilization which turned it from brutal to humane, are:

  • the supreme and equal value and dignity and PERSONHOOD (a Christian-Invented Theological Term) of every human life without exception (rooted in God’s infinite Love for humanity created in the Image of the One God in Three Persons, specifically in order to be adopted into God’s Loving Family); and
  • the necessity that human life must be FREE from all coercion in matters of religious faith and first order questions of meaning and purpose in life, in order that humans may freely seek and find this above wonderful truth about human existence (a necessity rooted in God Himself giving humanity free will so that humanity would be capable of LOVE, which must be freely given to be Love). 

There is no way to reasonably deny that Christianity’s above Pro-Life principles are the origin, the historical and logical foundation, of our modern human rights and democratic freedoms which developed only in Western Christian Civilization, and no way to reasonably deny that these Pro-Life principles are the best possible long-term guarantee of human rights and democracy (what other principles could possibly guarantee human rights and democracy near as well?).

 

© 2014, 2015 William Baptiste SFO

 

Go To Chapter 3: What Does the Science of Biology Say About Human Life and How Does That Properly Inform or Affect Law and Policy (Including Legal Definitions of Personhood)?

Go To Title/Contents Page

 

Footnotes

[1] Such as Thomas Day who wrote “If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.”

[2] As indicated further below (excerpts reproduced here) note that it would be highly anachronistic as well as highly improbable to suggest that because Article 1 reads “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” that in the Declaration no rights were intended to be accorded to preborn humans. To exclude preborn humans (including each of us before we were born) would most certainly be age-discrimination, denying human rights to some humans on the basis of age, developmental stage in the human life-cycle or location (in the womb), and the Declaration intends to exclude no-one. Article 2 indicates the Human Rights set forth in the Declaration belong to everyone “without distinction of any kind, such as . . . [a list of particular distinctions] . . . birth or other status.” The blanket “other” is intended to cover unlisted distinctions, which would include age, developmental stage, and location in the womb. Given the time period, where abortion was long widely illegal and preborn humans were long protected already, Article 2 really could not be much more clear that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights applies to ALL human lives and that the Declaration INTENDS to not exclude ANY human lives. The preborn are not mentioned specifically only because in 1948 there was no legal abortion outside of Nazi Germany which was condemned for it as a War Crime, and preborn fetal-age humans were not generally threatened such that the Declaration needed to be clear about them (only Nazis would think about legalizing abortion!). The partial list instead naturally particularly specifies distinctions including race, colour, and sex which by 1948 had in fact been used (as in the pre-1948 governmental legislative quotes below) to deny human personhood and rights to black slaves, Native Americans, women, and Jews. The Declaration most certainly did not intend to suddenly deny the same human rights to preborn humans who had a long tradition since the 4th Century of legal protection from harm in Western Civilization.  The entire purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was to increase human rights, not take them away from those who had them by not specifically mentioning the preborn!

[3] In Christian theology Adam is the first human being who represents all humanity, and all humanity is descended from Adam. Adam/humanity is first created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), from his beginning being in loving supernaturally-adopted family relationship with God which made Adam “the son of God” (Luke 3:38). Noting that later on Genesis 9:6 refers to mankind/humanity (Hebrew adam) being in the image of God only, the Early Church Fathers understood that the likeness of God was that thing Adam lost through his Original Sin which first separated humanity from God, that thing which Jesus Christ “the New Adam” restores to humanity redeemed in Him: the indwelling Holy Spirit of supernatural adoption into God’s Family (Romans 8:15). Humans are understood to no longer be mere creations of God (as a refrigerator is a creation of an inventor) but actually supernaturally adopted by God the Father as His children when His Divine Holy Spirit of Love dwells within us, meaning His own very Divine Life of Love is in us which makes us part of His Family.

[4] Islamic countries where leaving or defaming Islam is illegal and punishable by imprisonment, torture, loss of child custody and/or marriage annulment: Algeria, Bangladesh, Jordan, Malaysia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Syria, Uzbekistan, Libya, Qatar, Oman, Brunei, Bahrain, Indonesia, Western Sahara.

[5] Islamic countries where leaving or defaming Islam is illegal and punishable by death: Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, North Sudan, Maldives, Mauritania, Somalia.

[6] ISIS overtakes Iraq’s largest Christian city : http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/07/world/meast/iraq-isis-christian-city/index.html, accessed June 4, 2015.

[7] Records of the United States Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, United States of America v. Ulrich Greifelt Et Al (Case VIII), October 10, 1947 March 10, 1948; The National Archives, Washington, D.C.: Microfilm Publication 894, Roll 6 (Trial Vols. 10 & 11), pp. 3952-53, 4024, also M894 R 31, pp. 27-28, 4866. This is the complete record of the trial. Cited in the paper The Abortion and Eugenics Policies of Nazi Germany by Professor John Hunt, Ph.D. This will be discussed more below.

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