Greetings my English Speaking Friends and those wanting to learn! Welcome to Just English.
It is said that, “every journey begins with one step.” Everything has a beginning—including this radio segment. So, if we are going to talk about justice, we must start at the beginning.
We cannot speak about justice, fairness under the law, unless there is a reason for justice. That reason is what we call human rights. But why do we have human rights?
Do people have human rights just because a government makes a law or an excellent human rights organization like Paz y Esperanza says you have rights? How might a person or group come to the conclusion that another person or group needs to be treated with equal value?
For example, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution does not help us to understand human rights. In fact, it leads us away from human rights by the idea that “only the strong shall survive.”
To fully understand and value human rights, we have to understand that we humans are not here by chance. A God creates us and gives us value. We reflect that God.
The Bible, in the book of Genesis, says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He then created humans in His image. Male and female he created them. Tall and short, South American, North American, European, Asian, Latino, Quechua, African, Red, yellow, black, white…whether we are a governor or a person who works in a garbage dump, we are all created by God. We are not trash. No person should live in trash or be treated like trash. We are all of great value.
Even if you are a baby growing inside your mother’s womb, or a person nearing death, you are of great value—to God if nobody else. Each of us has God-given human rights, starting with life itself.
King David, from the Bible, understood this topic. In Psalm 139 he wrote about how God created each of us.
Oh yes [God], …
you formed me in my mother’s womb….
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139:13-16 from The Message)
David knew that in order to go about life, in order to have purpose, in order to have justice, we must first understand that we each have value because God made us and prepared our days.
Also in the Bible we read that God even knows the number of hairs upon your head. You are valuable to God. So then, because of this, you can treat others with respect, honor, and fairness…with justice. We are empowered by God to do to others as we would have them do to us!
You, your neighbor, even your enemy is of great value as a created human being – made a person by God. Life, each life is valuable. Each life is precious. This is where justice begins.