Human Rights In Christianity
Jesus is the founder of Human Rights. The fundamental theory and basis for Human Rights is that we should treat other people as we ourselves wish to be treated. Although this idea in some form is found in a variety of cultures, only Jesus emphasized that this is the fundamental thing that matters (i.e., "for this is the law and the prophets", which is equivalent to saying this is the sum of what matters and what matters to our Creator). Although Jesus did not use the term itself (the term itself
was possibly first used in writing by Mark Twain, that is, historically very recently, although the origin of the term is unknown), everything that today is fundamental to Human Rights theory is underscored in Jesus ‘various teachings, while nothing that is attributed to him, unlike much of modern Christianity, contradicts a basic tenet of modern Human Rights.
Human Rights, in spite of what conservative Christians often claim to the contrary, are inalienable rights from God and are not subject to governmental, religious or other whims, restriction or revision. The fact that Jesus made Human Rights central to his entire message underscores Jefferson's later claim (who studied the New Testament extensively) that we are "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights". It is a basic Human Right that we be treated fairly and equitably by other human beings, that we share equal opportunities as
well as similar problems and people who oppose Human Rights oppose our Creator (which is not a very wise thing to do). According to Jesus, no one can love God if he or she does not love her fellow human brothers and sisters in action, not just by words.
That said, modern Christianity is a religion of great variety, from so-called liberal to arch-conservative, yet all forms of Christianity contain traditions that not only are not found in the teachings of Jesus but rather, are opposite to him and in the way of Human Rights. Religion
in general and Christianity in particular seeks to curtail and limit freedom, the opposite of what Jesus taught, who emphasized freedom as an if not "the" goal. Jesus himself was a friend of "sinners and the common people", similar today to those who enjoy Jay Leno, David Letterman and
Saturday Night Live. Note how all three of these programs are critical of Christianity and show disdain for it--this in itself indicates that Christianity has nothing in common with Jesus. The record of Jesus says several times that the sinners and common people loved Jesus and dropped
everything else to hear him speak (if Letterman, Leno, Robin Williams and a modern music star and a few other modern celebrities all showed up in a small town at the same time, that is a small taste of what it was like
when Jesus showed up in a town). If alive today, Jesus would be highly sought out for by these and other broadcast programs.
Jesus was extremely negative toward outward piety and verbally abused and made fun of the conservative fundamentalists of his society, which is a major reason he was executed. There was no political correctness with
Jesus when it came to religious hypocrites--he roundly and soundly and openly condemned them, calling them "snakes", "hypocrites" and "blind leaders of the blind". On the other hand, there is no record of Jesus
ever condemning a non-religious individual ever for any reason, there is no mention by him of sexual orientation, abortion, pro-war rhetoric or any of the other issues high on the list of modern religious conservatives.
Jesus was strongly anti-war and a strong advocate for true communism(sharing of money and property in common) and there is nothing remotely similar to him and modern conservative Christianity in America. He made the strongest environmental statement in known history and is consistently pictured as being highly in tune with nature, using nature to illustrate his teachings and preferring the mountains and seashore to even the small towns of his day. Jesus consistently and openly taught the common people for free, apparently the first person in history to believe in and practice free public education for the masses. He was perhaps the most political person in history--he just had a different theory than most. His political theory being the way to change governments, environmental policy, social policy or any other policy for the better is to change the intent and direction of individual people, one heart at a time. It is
Hard to argue with the theory, as imagine how effective our modern Congress would be if they all thought and acted like Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
In my opinion, there are two very bad mistakes someone can make in life. One is to dismiss Jesus because of Christianity and not believe in God because of religion (which has nothing in common with God) and the other is to confuse Jesus with Christianity. The two have nothing in
Common. Whereas the teachings of Jesus are fundamental to what is positive and necessary for the survival of our species, Christianity is very much, in the way. Jesus underscored the importance of individual and collective freedom, the opposite of what all religions promote.