I am deeply perplexed at this issue, as I have been studying the origin of legal human rights such as the UN Charter of human rights, and the Bill of Rights in my home country, Canada. It is very apparent to me that Human Rights presented in various bills and charters in the Commonwealth are founded on principles of bilblical scripture.
In the process of educating myself on my human rights, I have become concerned that I need to become more active in asserting and defending my human rights. I have sought the councel of an organization that assists people in doing this, and they have provided me with samples of legal documents they provide for this purpose, with the help of their legal team.
In reviewing the legal documents, I have found and hilighted various references to the origin of rights being given by Creator, or God, and the construction of their documents would have me accept, agree to and state belief in this. This is conflicting for me, an Atheist, who does not credit the Creator or God as even real, let alone giving of rights. I questioned this organization as to whether documents could be revised to exclude such references, and this was their response:
"Sorry, although we can handle alterations to accommodate most religious beliefs without damaging the integrity of the documents, your beliefs (or lack thereof, as you put it) leaves one unable to point to where his 'natural rights' originate and without being able to do that (not simply with philosophy but to be able to point to documentation recognized by Canada) you remove the entire base on which everything else is built. You absolutely have the right to your beliefs BUT you live in a country that recognizes the supremacy of God and therefore the King James Bible and even our Criminal Code is a direct result of the Bible. Further the Queen has sworn an oath to 'defend the faith' and that oath in turn obligates government. Basically, given your beliefs we know of no base to begin from in obtaining those rights Canadians are entitled to."
I find this statement to be very troubling to me. If my right to freedom of religion is stated in laws that are founded on principles derived from the scriptures of the bible, and asserting my rights is essentialy asserting the laws and the founding principles they are based on, then I am either denied all my rights by virtue that I cannot assert my believe and acceptance of the biblical foundation of such laws, or I am denied my right to freedom of religion in order to access my body of rights. And how can that be? How can I only access my rights by the infringement of even one of them?
Am I missing something here? On what legal basis does an atheist support the origins of his rights? I see a disturbing paradox here, not just for the atheist, but for all people of all beliefs. Because even the Christian is not free to have rights, because the foundation of his rights supersedes his right to freedom of religion.
Can anyone from the ACA comment on this? I would love to hear from Matt Dillahunty, because I am a big fan of is, but I'm not sure if this is his field of expertise or not. Any response though would be appreciated.
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From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, March 8th at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Ryan Bell will talk on "My Year Without God: Now a Permanent Condition."