Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Creationism 102: A Threat to Human Rights?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Oct 09, 2007

As I noted in Creationism 101: Unscientific?, the Council of Europe recently declared that creationism and intelligent design should be barred from classrooms because “creationism could become a threat to human rights.” This is an indefensible position.

The very idea of human rights grew out of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It is precisely within this tradition, where the human person is seen as the image and likeness of God, that a distinctive understanding of human nature developed, including an emphasis on the protection of the weak and vulnerable. No pagan society has ever demonstrated a similar concern for the rights of those who do not have the power to enforce respect. Moreover, the most massive abuses of human rights in recent times have been perpetrated in the name of neopaganisms such as Nazism and Communism and, more recently, a militant hedonistic secularism which drives us ever-deeper into a culture of death.

For these reasons, it is ludicrous for a political body to suggest that a theory which reveres God as the Creator constitutes a threat to human rights. Historically, those who hold the opposite view are far more likely to deny the notion of a fixed and common human nature invested with intrinsic dignity. They are also more likely to pit humans against animals or the environment as a whole, threatening the distinctively human by blurring the hierarchy of nature. The Christian tradition, with the Catholic tradition at its core, has been more consistent, articulate and eloquent in its defense of human rights than any other tradition or belief system.

Such obvious lessons notwithstanding, there is a growing movement among secularists to regard Christianity (to which Creationism is self-evidently indebted) as a threat to human rights. The reason is that secularists wish to co-opt the powerful Christian legacy of respect for rights in order to protect behaviors which are actually harmful to human dignity. Secularists understand that these behaviors have been condemned by the Judaeo-Christian tradition, but they do not perceive these condemnations as motivated by the need to preserve and foster man’s likeness to God, which is the origin and basis of human rights.

The list of behaviors militant secularists wish to preserve is no secret: fornication, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, easy divorce, contraception, abortion, genetic selection, embryonic harvesting, assisted suicide, pornography, sexual exploitation, unbridled consumption and other similar practices which both attack human nature and exploit the weak and vulnerable. Such practices undermine the dignity of the human person, distort our understanding of human nature, subvert the relationship between the sexes, and destroy the family, where dignity and worth—and love—are preeminently fostered. Without these, rights cannot survive.

The theme struck by the Council of Europe has become depressingly familiar in the once-Christian West, which now desperately seeks to preserve personal license in the name of liberty. But the techniques used—the constant redefinition of terms, the calling of white black and black white, the total confusion of freedom with slavery to the passions—these darken our understanding of everything even as they undermine the only basis on which rights can ever rest. I suppose it is true that God poses a threat, but only to the self-imposed slavery of those who hate the light. In contrast, the flight from God strikes at the very root of human rights by distorting the nature and meaning of man.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 4 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16
In showdown with American sisters, the Vatican blinked December 16
Policing, torture, reasons of State, and our Christian mistake December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - 23 hours ago