Humberto Fontova reports on Jimmy Carter’s recent trip to Cuba, and gives some background.
Posts Tagged ‘human rights’
I’ve just finished reading The Gulag Archipelago, by Solzenitsyn. Somehow it seems a warning to our own time, as well as a record of past inhumanity in the name of so-called progress.
Because of the content of the book, I’m inviting discussion over here instead of over at Suitable For Mixed Company. I’d especially like to hear from those of you who made it through all three volumes.
Charles J. Chaput offers some straight talk on New Life in Christ: What it Looks Like, What it Demands (First Things, May 11, 2009).
Notwithstanding that Chaput is devotedly Catholic, and William Wilberforce adamantly wasn’t, this article reminds me of Wilberforce’s writings on real Christianity.
… on the side of religious freedom in Bulgaria. (Should I have warned you to sit down before reading that?)
The ADF press release linked above reads:
STRASBOURG, France — A dissenting synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church that had its legal personality stripped and its property seized by the socialist government of Bulgaria has won a decisive victory at the European Court of Human Rights. Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney Latcho Popov argued that the Bulgarian government violated the European Convention of Human Rights in its treatment of the synod.
“The church should remain free of government coercion and control,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who performed most of the work on the case while serving at the European Centre for Law and Justice before recently joining ADF. “The Bulgarian government vastly overstepped its bounds in stripping the synod of its legal identity, seizing its property, and handing it over to a synod of which the government approves. We are pleased with the ruling of the ECHR, which respects the alternative synod’s freedom and independence.”|
“This victory is crucial for the American church as well,” explained ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull. “Bad precedents set in other parts of the world too often find their way here. A positive decision this significant underscores the vital importance of the church operating independently of state coercion and control. When the church is not free and independent, uncompromised teaching is replaced by whatever ‘politically correct’ messages the government wants.”
Kiska explained that many governments throughout history have used the church to gain power by suppressing the free exercise of denominations that compete with a state-sanctioned church that provides very little, if any, criticism of the government.
More than 80 percent of Bulgarians identify themselves as Bulgarian Orthodox. Fifteen years ago, about 40 percent dissented from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and its leader Patriarch Maxim, arguing that he was not validly elected under BOC canon law and that he was aligned too closely with the communist regime. They elected there [sic] own leadership and built a number of their own churches.
Five years ago, the new socialist-dominated government passed a law on religions that effectively stripped the dissenting synod of their legal personality and access to the legal system. The Bulgarian chief prosecutor issued a warrant demanding that all the synod’s properties be confiscated. In one evening, more than 100 churches were confiscated. They were kept under police control and eventually given to the state-approved Synod of Maxim.
Popov, director of the Rule of Law Institute, then filed an application to the ECHR on behalf of the dissenting synod, and the court ruled strongly in favor of the church’s religious freedom. Settlement negotiations in light of the court’s ruling are currently in progress.
The so-called Freedom of Choice Act (also known as FOCA), would provide legal bulldozers to the abortion industry in the United States, for use in flattening opposition. Not that a billion dollar industry that kills people on a per-hire basis needs more sledgehammers than it already has, in my opinion, but what do I know? (At least I have company. More than 330,000 people have already signed a Fight FOCA petition, as just the tip of the iceberg in the fight against this horrific bit of proposed policy, which would strip away the few feeble laws that protect the most vulnerable women and girls amongst us.)
In another arguably dishonest use of language, the so-called Employee Free Choice Act would provide brand new legal bulldozers to unions, not least by turning thugs loose on workers who currently enjoy the protection of voting by secret ballot. (Uhm, folks, there are reasons secret ballots are considered part and parcel of advanced civilizations…) Joust the Facts has a look.
Robert at Expat Yank takes on some of those who would like to “free” us from Christianity without stopping to think what it has meant even to unbelievers.
These two posts add a bit of perspective to the rise (and fall) of current cultures and governments. They address decidedly different factors, but I think they both add to the discussion of how we got where we are, and what we have to fight to keep from losing what we’ve gained.
“Created Equal: How Christianity Shaped the West”, by Dinesh D’Souza (Imprimis, November 2008)
Have you seen Volition yet? It’s an interesting (and artistic) take on the choices confronting individuals who live in a society that classes some people as subhuman. (I found the ‘behind the scenes’ video interesting, too. It’s available on the same page as the film.)
Parents: I recommend screening this one before you invite the kids to watch.
Cross-posted at Suitable For Mixed Company.
hat tip: Michelle