Posted on | January 31, 2012 by Wendy Wright |
What is a human right? In Europe, it can be a seat on a bus that reclines. Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal about a complaint filed in the European Court of Human Rights by an irate passenger whose bus seat did not fully recline on his 2,000 mile trip. Though rejected, the court did not give a tongue-lashing for a silly waste of the court’s resource. Just the opposite. The lawsuit was “[not] manifestly ill-founded or an abuse of the right of application.”
Stephens’ editorial on “The Decline of Human Rights” goes on to describe more serious misusing and twisting of human rights that dangerously empower abusers. On the short end of some of the European Court of Human Right’s illogical rulings, the UK’s David Cameron stated, “For too may people, the very concept of rights is in danger of slipping from something noble to something discredited. It has a corrosive effect on people’s support for human rights.”
Yet Cameron has also done damage to the cause of human rights by demanding that unhealthy and immoral sexual practices should be protected as human rights.
Stephens also takes to task the lofty human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (the latter having been recently publicly denounced by its founder). He declares, “The people who now usually claim to speak for those rights have systematically transformed them into a weapon against democracies and a shield for terrorists.”
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are prime examples of organizations that have dangerously strayed from their purpose, to the point that they advocate the very opposite of human rights. Both groups are demanding that Hungary endorse abortion by removing from its new constitution the pronouncement that life begins at conception. In other words, the country should deny a scientific fact in order to deny under-age people the right to live.
Both groups also criticized Hungary for recognizing marriage as between a man and a woman. Now they’re just making things up. In calling whatever they want a “human right,” they diminish their own standing and overall respect for the field of human rights.
Stephens does not address the distortion of human rights to cover immoral acts of abortion and sexual promiscuity. But his advice applies. He throws down the gauntlet by asking, “How do you mount a rescue attempt for human rights? That has to be a task worthy of some philanthropist’s largess.”