Blog Action Day 2013 Wednesday, Oct 16 2013 

Human Rights

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Today is Blog Action Day 2013. Bloggers across the globe are posting on the same topic – Human Rights. You might want to do some surfing and check out the different perspectives offered.

In the first half of the 20th Century discussions took place on setting criteria for acceptable treatment of all persons everywhere. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on December 10, 1948 by the United Nation General Assembly in Paris. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the drafting committee that consisted of UN members of various political, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

It’s believed that everyone regardless of ethnicity, residence, gender, race, religion, and so on should have equal rights. International laws are enacted to ensure that at least a basic standard is set.

Of course we know that not everyone actually receives these rights. We all want them but do not award them to everyone without bias, particularly in some parts of the world. Even advocates for special interest groups tend to be prejudiced toward someone else.

The intention of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is to promote peace by protecting the rights and dignity of all people. When we feel we are treated unfairly, we become hurt and angry. The desire to retaliate and even out the playing field is a natural reaction. The result is tension and unrest between individuals, groups, and countries.

The sophisticated, detailed rules set in stone in the document are basic in principle. They boil down to the age-old golden rule of treating others as you would like to be treated. If everyone treated everyone else with respect, we wouldn’t need any other guidelines.

When we shout Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, Fathers Rights, and Civil Rights we are isolating people into special groups when in fact, what we want is for everyone to be treated equally. Actually, it isn’t even equality we seek but justice for each as an individual with consideration to our unique needs.

We are not all in a position to correct the injustice of a group of people in the world but we can promote justice in small ways every day in our own little world. If we treat everyone we encounter in our daily life with kindness and respect we will promote justice and peace one relationship at a time.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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Papal Relevance Thursday, Feb 28 2013 

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Some events are so unusual that they are recorded in the history of humankind. We are experiencing such a moment right now.

Pope emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI’s resignation shocked the Catholic community. Popes are elected to serve until death. Papal resignations are so rare that only five are documented in the history of the Catholic Church.

This resignation is not only important to the Catholic Church but also to the world at large because the pope is a world leader. Approximately one-third of the world population is Christian and more than half of all Christians are Catholic. That means that a current pope shepherds more than a billion followers.

His Holiness is a brilliant man and the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. He advised Pope John Paul on doctrinal issues. His literary works guide not only members of the Church but also her leaders. No doubt His Holiness fully understands the ramifications and precedence he sets and believes his decision is in the best interest of the whole Church.

News coverage will continue with this story as a new pope is elected. Most popes were of European or Middle Eastern descent but we have a few American contenders. In the remote chance that one should be elected, we will once again be making history.

For up-to-date and accurate information, go to the Vatican website at: http://www.news.va/en

©2013 Mary K. Doyle

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