Tag Archives: Human Rights

Is there anything in the atheistic worldview that rationally grounds human rights?

Support for free speech in different countries
Support for free speech in different countries (Source: Pew Research)

I think it’s useful for Christians in America to look at what is happening to Christians in other countries, so that we can understand what the future holds for us. Most other countries are further along the road to secularism than America is, so you can how a secular government reacts when a Christian exercises his or her free speech rights in public.

Here’s an example from Finland:

A Christian politician who is under police investigation for sharing a Bible verse on Facebook has spoken out about her shocking ordeal.

In June, Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen called out the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland for its participation in the Helsinki Pride events, sharing a passage from Romans 1 to prove her point.

As a result, authorities opened an investigation into Räsänen, who is a member of The Christian Democrats party and also the former Minister of the Interior.

Speaking to Faithwire, Räsänen said that she was motivated to share the scripture after hearing her church denomination had decided to endorse events that are in contradiction with God’s word.

She perceives that the government’s criminal investigation of her “offensive speech” will cause other Christians to be frightened about speaking out against sin in public:

One of the most shocking elements of this case is that the authorities have decided to charge the politician with “agitation against an ethnic group” — an accusation that she believes is not only false, but also something that will also have grave ramifications for the Finnish Christian community and freedom of religion as a whole.

“Already the fact that a police investigation has been started and there is a suspect of a crime has a significant effect to freedom of speech and religion in practice,” she told Faithwire.

“I am worried that the police investigation has had a chilling effect among Christians. It seems that many Christians in my country are now hiding and going to the closet now that the LGBT-community has come out to the public.”

The politician said she was concerned that Christians will become increasingly less inclined to share scripture on public platforms out of a fear that they are will be arrested for offending a certain group of people.

Wow, she’s right about that. Unfortunately, in America, I have yet to see pastors in any church I’ve attended warning people about the loss of liberties that Christians experience when they are ruled by atheists. And I attend conservative PCA and SBC churches, although I would not attend an SBC church any more.

Here’s another story from South Africa, where a Christian doctor has lost his medical license for merely expressing pro-life views:

A hearing by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) against an anti-abortion doctor got off to a rocky start and had to be temporarily adjourned on Tuesday in Cape Town.

Jacques de Vos, 32, is facing charges of unprofessional conduct and was prohibited from practising medicine due to his views on abortion.

The former intern at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg allegedly told a patient more than two years ago that a foetus was a human being. He allegedly likened abortion to killing an unborn human, while working for the gynaecology division during his intern year.

At the hearing it emerged that De Vos was only a week short of finishing his medical degree before he did his community service.

South Africa is a communist country, which means that the rulers of the country are atheists. Communism is an atheistic ideology that does not recognize human rights. This is because in order to have human rights, you need a God to design the universe with those rights, such that other humans have to respect those rights. Atheism starts with an accidental universe, and finishes with humans that evolved accidentally, through a process of evolution that was random and unplanned. So, it’s not surprising to see governments in atheistic countries mistreating Christians, and using the power of government to compel them to act like atheists.

It would be nice to see leaders in churches setting aside some time to warn Christians about the dangers of being ruled by atheists. But what I see happening with young people is that atheism is being sold to them as glamorous through false ideologies. Socialism, which has only ever made people poor, is presented to them as a solution to poverty. The Southern Baptist church that I recently attended was mostly concerned with opening up our borders to refugees and illegal aliens, and equalizing incomes by giving power to a secular government. If it were up to me, they’d be focused on evidential apologetics, rolling back radical feminism, and explaining how the free market system produces prosperity. But they have other priorities. By the time Bible-believing Christian leaders realize that anything is going on, it will be too late to stop it.

Two Christian women threatened with jail time for refusing to celebrate LGBT events

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

Is it safe to live as a Bible-believing Christian in America? We all know that you can live comfortably as a “Christian” by just behaving in compliance with whatever the secular left tells you. But what happens to you if you take the Bible seriously on moral issues? Is it easy to live consistently with the Bible in America?

Consider this article from Daily Wire:

Two female Christian artists in Arizona who refuse to make custom-art for same sex weddings could actually be jailed for sticking to their religious beliefs.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski , who own Brush & Nib Studio, make custom artwork using painting, calligraphy and handlettering. They filed suit against the city of Phoenix, as a Phoenix city ordinance threatens them with up to six months and/or a fine of $2,500 each day they refuse to make the artwork. First the women filed in state court to overturn the ordinance, but lost in a court of appeals, prompting them to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court, which said on November 20 it would hear the case.

There’s a video about the case from Fox News:

In other news, Christian baker Jack Phillips is STILL in trouble with the secular left fascists in Colorado. Although he won his case at the Supreme Court, the LGBT activists and their allies in the state government are still going after him to punish him for his Christian beliefs.

The Federalist had a really, really good article about it:

On June 26, 2017, the day the Supreme Court agreed to hear Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a transgender attorney and activist, called Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked Phillips to design a custom cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior to symbolize a transition from male to female. Phillips politely turned Scardina down. “I was stunned,” the lawyer risibly claimed in her complaint to the Civil Rights Commission.

Scardina, of course, didn’t accidentally ask the most famous Christian baker in the nation to make a “transition” cake. Scardina is leading a crusade against Phillips. In one call, Scardina allegedly asked for “an image of Satan smoking marijuana.” In another, members of “the Church of Satan” asked for “a three-tiered white cake” with a “large figure of Satan, licking a nine inch black Dildo.” “I would like the dildo to be an actual working model that can be turned on before we unveil the cake,” went the request. You can just sense the sanctimonious smugness of people who think this sort of thing is edgy.

In any event, the state of Colorado has allied itself with such activists, formally determining that there was probable cause that Phillips had indeed discriminated against Scardina based on “gender identity.” Of course the baker’s refusal to make dildo and pentagram cakes only proves that Phillips isn’t specifically antagonistic to the newly consecrated belief in malleable “gender identity,” but that he’s shown a consistent adherence to his less malleable Christian values.

It’s those values that upset Scardina and members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Though they can’t say it explicitly, most progressives are fine with discrimination against religious groups. In their hierarchy of moral concerns, free expression isn’t nearly as concerning as the hurt feelings of an aggrieved gay couple. And Colorado is again complicit in another attack on the Constitution. Until SCOTUS comes down with a ruling that explicitly protects religious liberty from state-sponsored attacks on faith, they’ll keep trying.

But it goes well beyond those legal concerns. Activists — including the civil rights commission — are trying to destroy a man for thought crimes. This state-sponsored harassment isn’t only about Phillip’s modest business in Lakewood, Colorado, although that’s surely part of it. It’s a warning to all those with unpopular opinions to stay in line.

I’ve found myself thinking about how to live in a world where every day you get up to go to work, your livelihood is threatened by secular left fascists who want to use the government as a weapon to destroy your basic God-given human rights. And the only answers I can come up with to this are 1) avoid putting my children into public schools run by the secular left, and 2) retire as early as possible so that I don’t have to deal with the coming generation of social justice warriors in an office setting.

First, I need to avoid dealing with the secular left in public schools (my future children) or the workplace. This is because a lot of legal problems start when the secular left finds out what Christian parents are teaching their children. The easiest way to not deal with public schools is to not get married, unless you marry a woman who has carefully made pro-marriage decisions with her education, career and finances. Decisions designed to keep her future children out of the public schools. It’s very rare to find a young, unmarried Christian woman who has made correct decisions to protect her future family from the secular left, though. Thanks to the uncritical acceptance of radical feminism in the church – right under the noses of traditional conservative male pastors – most don’t want to homeschool and they haven’t made the right choices in education,career and finances to help their future husband afford homeschooling and/or private schools, anyway.

How about the workplace? Well, it’s fine for now if, for example, you live in a red state and you’re in the private sector and you’re working in a STEM field. But there’s a generation of unstable social justice warriors coming through the assembly line of government schools, and they’re going to hit the workplace shortly. I don’t want to be there when they finally arrive. The easiest way to get out of the workplace early is to have enough money saved so that you can retire early. But this is getting harder to do. In our culture, we’re always hearing that “good people” only have one acceptable way to vote: for higher taxes, more unskilled immigration and more government spending. This is the case even in conservative churches. Just last month, my Southern Baptist pastor told our Bible study that “Jesus was a refugee”, which is in keeping with the Democrat talking points of open borders leftists like Russell Moore. The more we vote for government to be the “solution” to people’s bad choices, the higher taxes will go, and the more exposed Christians are going to be to troubles in the workplace.

Well, I probably track these religious liberty stories more than most. And I worry about it more than most, too. I am more prepared than most to avoid having my conscience violated by the secular left. But I don’t see things getting better. There just isn’t any seriousness among Christians to hold the line on Biblical teachings and values. We’ve long ago dumped the masculine aspects of Christianity – uncomfortable theological truths and politically incorrect moral rules – for a more feminine focus on non-judgmentalism, feelings, self-esteem, universalism, etc. In the church today, you’re unlikely to win an argument about a moral issue by citing the Bible and then supporting your claim with peer-reviewed evidence. Instead, the church decided that the highest authority is to conform to the demands of people whose best argument is “agree with me, or I’ll commit suicide due to bad feelings!” That apparently has a lot of weight in the feminized church today. But not with me.

Can atheists condemn slavery as immoral? Do atheists believe that slavery is wrong?

A long journey through the night
A long journey through the night

Note: For a Christian response to the complaint that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, see this article and this article for slavery in the Old Testament, and this article for slavery in the New Testament. These are all by Christian philosopher Paul Copan. You can watch a lecture with Paul Copan on the slavery challenge here, and buy a book where he answers the challenge in more detail. There is also a good debate on whether the Bible condones slavery here, featuring David Instone-Brewer and Robert Price. My post is not a formal logical essay on this issue, it is more that I am outraged that atheists, who cannot even rationally ground objective morality, insist on criticizing the morality of the Bible. I think that atheists who are serious about finding the truth about these issues should check out those links, if they are interested in getting to the truth of these matters.

In other posts, I’ve argued that without an objective moral standard of what is right and wrong, any judgments about right and wrong are just individual opinions. So, when an atheist says slavery is wrong, what he really means is that he thinks slavery is wrong for him, in the same way that he thinks that,say, that chocolate ice cream is right for him. He isn’t saying what is wrong objectively, because on atheism there are no objective moral rules or duties. He is speaking for himself: “I wouldn’t own a slave, just like I wouldn’t eat broccoli – because it’s yucky!”. But he has no rational argument against other people owning slaves in other times and places, because their justification for owning slaves is the same as his justification for not owning slaves : personal preference and cultural conventions.

So do atheists oppose slavery? Do they believe in an objective human right to liberty? Well, there are no objective human rights of any kind on atheism. Human beings are just accidents in an accidental universe, and collections of atoms do not mysteriously accrue “rights”. There is no natural right to liberty on atheism. Now consider abortion, which is favored by most atheists. Like slavery, abortion declares an entire class of human beings as non-persons in order to justify preserving their own happiness and prosperity by means of violence. That’s exactly what slavery does, except abortion is worse than slavery, because you actually kill the person you are declaring as a non-person instead of just imprisoning them.

So how many atheists have this pro-abortion view that it is OK to declare unborn children  as non-persons so they can kill them?

Well, according to Gallup, the “non-religious” are the group most likely to support abortion. In fact, 68% favor legalized abortion, compared to only 19% who oppose it.

Take a look at the Gallup poll data from 2012:

Atheists are OK with the strong killing the weak
Most atheists are OK with the strong killing the weak

The Gallup numbers might actually be low, because “No religion” might include people who are spiritual, but not religious. But what about atheists alone?

As a group, atheists tend to be among the most radical supporters of legalized abortion. The Secular Census of 2012 found that 97% of atheists vote for abortion. There are almost no pro-life atheists. Why is it that atheists look at unborn children and think it’s OK to kill them? Well, let’s see what atheists scholars think about morality, and from that we’ll find out why they think abortion is morally permissible.

Atheist scholars think morality is nonsense

Atheist William Provine says atheists have no free will, no moral accountability and no moral significance:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.

Source: http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/161main.htm

Atheists Michael Ruse says atheists have no objective moral standards:

The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.(Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269).

Atheist Richard Dawkins says atheists have no objective moral standards:

In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))

Most atheists are like this – although some affirm objective morality, without really having a rational basis for it. In general though, when atheists use moral language to condemn God, the Bible, or Christians, it’s very important to understand that it is just theater. They are trying to use words that describe realities that they do not even believe in, usually with the goal of getting you to stop judging them for their own sin. I blogged about two examples of this before – Richard Carrier and Michael Shermer.

Let’s take a closer look at Richard Dawkins’ statement that there is “no evil and no good”.

Richard Dawkins and morality

Here’s Richard Dawkins’ view of abortion:

Richard Dawkins explains morality on atheism
Richard Dawkins explains morality on atheism

But wait! He goes even further than mere abortion:

Dawkins believes in Darwinian evolution. Survival of the fittest. The strong kill the weak. Where is protection for the unborn in that narrative?

Richard Dawkins even advocates for adultery.

So, what Dawkins really believes is that morality is nonsense. But in order to get you to stop condemning abortion, adultery, infanticide and a whole host of other atheistic misbehaviors, he will try to condemn you using moral language to stop you from making moral judgments. But the goal here is to intimidate you into not judging. By his own words, he thinks that the whole notion of objective moral values and objective moral duties is just nonsense.

Who does oppose slavery?

How did slavery end?

Dinesh D’Souza explains:

Slavery was mostly eradicated from Western civilization–then called Christendom–between the fourth and the tenth century. The Greco-Roman institution of slavery gave way to serfdom. Now serfdom has its problems but at least the serf is not a “human tool” and cannot be bought and sold like property. So slavery was ended twice in Western civilization, first in the medieval era and then again in the modern era.

In the American South, Christianity proved to be the solace of the oppressed. As historian Eugene Genovese documents in Roll, Jordan, Roll, when black slaves sought to find dignity during the dark night of slavery, they didn’t turn to Marcus Aurelius or David Hume; they turned to the Bible. When they sought hope and inspiration for liberation, they found it not in Voltaire or D’Holbach but in the Book of Exodus.

The anti-slavery movements led by Wilberforce in England and abolitionists in America were dominated by Christians. These believers reasoned that since we are all created equal in the eyes of God, no one has the right to rule another without consent. This is the moral basis not only of anti-slavery but also of democracy.

And, in fact, you can see Christians pushing the culture hard against abortion today, just as we did with slavery. We also oppose frivolous divorce, and redefining marriage in a way that normalizes removing mothers and/or fathers away from their children. Defending the weak is what we do.

Canadian judge bans pro-life ads, because free speech makes people feel bad

This pro-life ad was banned because it hurts people's feelings
This pro-life ad was banned because it hurts people’s feelings

This is from Heat Street. It reminds me what a joke of a country Canada has become since their 50 year slide into secular left fascism.

Excerpt:

A Canadian city was “proportionate and reasonable” in censoring a pro-life ads from the sides of its buses because the banners were “likely to cause psychological harm to women who have had an abortion,” according to a ruling.

Justice C.S. Anderson has ruled that the city of Grande Prairie in the province of Alberta “reasonably” balanced the freedom of speech rights of the pro-life advertiser with the city’s own policies of providing a “safe and welcoming” space for bus passengers and pedestrians with its advertising.

According to the judge, the ruling won’t prohibit every pro-life ad in the city, but he stressed that it was reasonable to ban banners specifically produced by the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) because they might upset women and children.

The pro-life group’s ad showed unborn babies at seven weeks’ and 16 weeks’ gestation followed by an empty frame filled in red to represent an aborted baby. Underneath the images were the captions: “growing,” “growing” and “gone.” The ad also read: “Abortion kills children” and showed the group’s website.

Judge Anderson said that CCBR website includes messages such as “Now is the time to put an end to the slaughter. Now is the time to look evil in the face and say, enough. Now is the time to join together, and lend our voices to those who had theirs brutally taken from them.”

“These are strong statements that vilify women who have chosen, for their own reasons, to have an abortion; they are not merely informative and educational,” Anderson added.

Now, it’s true that I am a bit of a “hold women accountable” person. In the past I’ve blogged about how women are more supportive of abortion rights and gay marriage than men. So, naturally, I wanted to know if the pro-abortion, anti-free-speech judge was a man or woman. Answer: she’s a woman:

The Honourable Charlene S. Anderson, a lawyer with Ross Smith Asset Management Inc. in Calgary, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Calgary) to replace Madam Justice B.L. Veldhuis who was appointed to the Court of Appeal on February 8, 2013.

Honorable!??? That’s not the word I would use for an anti-free-speech fascist, but I know that Canada is a third-world banana republic, where the right to free speech is not guaranteed in their founding documents. It’s a tax-and-spend nanny state, where the government micromanages the words of the citizens.

Belfast bakery sued by gay activist loses appeal and must pay £88,000

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

I heard about this story from my friend Jonny in Northern Ireland, who sent me updates about new developments. I didn’t realize that the penalty for disagreeing with same-sex marriage was going to be over a hundred thousand dollars! Especially when, as the article mentions, same-sex marriage is not even legal in Northern Ireland.

NBC News reports.

Excerpt:

A Northern Irish bakery that refused to bake a cake iced with a pro-gay slogan lost its bid to overturn its prosecution for discrimination on Monday as a local court rejected an appeal based on its owners’ Christian beliefs.

Ashers Baking Co in Belfast had been found guilty of discrimination in May last year for refusing to make a cake bearing the words “Support Gay Marriage” and a picture of characters Bert and Ernie from the television show Sesame Street.

The firm initially accepted the order from Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, but later contacted him to cancel it and refund his money. Judge Declan Morgan on Monday ruled the bakery had directly discriminated against Lee.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not allowed, and the largest political party, the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has blocked attempts to legalize it.

By contrast the Republic of Ireland in May last year approved gay marriage after a referendum backed the measure, signaling a major change in what was once a strongly Catholic and socially conservative society.

[…]Daniel McArthur, general manager at Ashers, told journalists he was disappointed with the judgment, saying it undermined “democratic freedom, religious freedom and freedom of speech”.

Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission, which backed Lee’s case, said it is seeking costs of 88,000 pounds ($108,000) from the bakery, which said it is taking legal advice on what to do next.

The Belfast Telegraph notes that the bakery was not discriminating against a gay person – they did not know what the sexual orientation of the customer was. They simply objected to endorsing a message on a cake that they did not agree with.

Excerpt:

The McArthur family insisted they did not know the sexual orientation of Mr Lee, an LGBT activist, when declining his order.

The family insist their problem was with the cake, not the customer. But Mr Lee claimed it made him feel a lesser person.

However, on Monday morning the Court of Appeal upheld the original decision that Ashers Bakery had “directly discriminated”.

In delivering the appeal judgement, Northern Ireland’s Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan rejected the argument that the bakery would be endorsing the slogan by baking the cake.

He said: “The fact that a baker provides a cake for a particular team or portrays witches on a Halloween cake does not indicate any support for either.”

Lord Chief Justice said bakers couldn’t provide a service only to customers who agreed with their religious beliefs.

[…]After the ruling, speaking publicly for the first time, LGBT activist Gareth Lee said he was “grateful” for the outcome of the appeal.

Mr. Lee had feelings, and the Ashers got a hundred thousand dollar bill (payable to Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission) for hurting those feelings.

Keep in mind always that the Asher family is not just paying Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission. The family is also paying the salary of this judge with the income from their business. They are paying this secular judge from the secular leftist government to punish them for being faithful to their Biblical convictions. That’s why Christians should never vote to enlarge a secular government using money from private individuals and private businesses beyond what the Constitution limits the government to do.

I often hear Christians complain to me about why I am so focused on getting young people to study STEM degrees in school, to get jobs in STEM fields, and to save money and donate effectively.

Premier Christian Radio explains why money matters:

Throughout the legal battle Ashers has been supported by The Christian Institute, which has organised public rallies and garnered financial backing for the case.

Simon Calvert from the organisation pledged the family would not have to worry.

On Premier’s News Hour he said: “We [will] back the family all the way and so the family don’t have to worry about the cost.

“The Christian Institute legal defence fund has got that covered but, you know, that’s going to be a lot of money.”

The organisation had spent £200,000 itself in legal costs, he said.

“It is a lot of money, but Christians are concerned about the state of religious liberty in the UK and they have been willing to donate to our legal defence fund to help us to fight this case and cases like it,” he added.

The money to prosecute Christians came from Christians through taxes, and whatever is left over after taxes is used for the defense of Christians from the secular government. That’s why money matters. And that’s why Christians should not be voting to expand government, which raises tax rates, and shuts off the flow of dollars to organizations that defend Christians in court. It also shows why aliases are practical – the more you can fight the secularists without getting hit and incurring costs yourself, the more money there is for the people who are pinned down by the state and need assistance. You don’t want to be someone who has no money to donate, but asks for others to support you. Have the alias, then earn the money. Then you can donate to others, and not depend on them because you won’t be in legal trouble yourself. This is so simple, but many Christians don’t understand how to think about these financial issues.