A CHEAT SHEET Religion and HUMAN RIGHTS

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1 A CHEAT SHEET Religion and HUMAN RIGHTS Christian attitudes towards the law and human rights You are all made in the image of God One in Christ Love your neighbour These 3 teachings would mean that Christians respect and support the laws on Human Rights. All human life is sacred as it is made in the image of God. Christians should strive to treat each other as equals and Jesus see s us all as equals. Finally all the world is their neighbour and so Christians should want the best for all people no matter their country, ethnicity, religion, class or status. Many Christians would support Human Rights law as it gives them the right to follow their religion in an increasing secular (non religious) society which may not respect their beliefs. The Lord loves the Just Christians are against injustice and believe it is the duty of Christians to stand up and make the world a fairer place. The Human Right to free speech also enables people to speak out against those who would by oppressing others cause injustice and suffering. However some people misuse the right to Free speech to criticise religions and religious lifestyles. Also some Christians disagree with things like Gay marriage, which came about because of the way the Human Rights law has been interpreted to give same sex relationships the same rights as hetero sexual relationship. Because of this some Christians think that we need limits on certain rights, especially those which go against their religious beliefs. The impact of Christianity on the rights and responsibilities as a citizen Love the Lord God and love your neighbour with all your heart parable of the sheep and goats These both teach Christians that they should do what pleases God the most. The duty to follow God s teachings should always come before the law of the country. However many of the laws in the UK are based around Christian ideas of equality, fairness and justice so there is very little conflict. Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. Jesus was saying there is a separation between God s law and the law of the land. However Jesus was also saying that both can be followed and respected. You are responsible for following the law for example by paying taxes just as Jesus advised his followers.

2 Organisations which help if rights are being abused, e.g. the Samaritans Love your neighbour in the Parable of the Good Samaritan a person helps another in need even though they are a different race and religion. Because the person who helped was a Samaritan (from the country of Samaria) the term Samaritan now also means a good person who wants to help another. It was the inspiration for the name of the charity The Samaritans. The history of Samaritans Samaritans began in 1953 in London, founded by a vicar called Chad Varah. Throughout his career Chad had offered counselling to his parishioners, and wanted to do something more specific to help people struggling to cope and possibly contemplating suicide. How Samaritans started The initial idea for Samaritans came from the first funeral Chad conducted early on in his career: a girl aged 14 had started her period, but having no one to talk to believed that she had a sexually transmitted disease and took her own life. Chad was immensely moved by this senseless loss of life, "I might have dedicated myself to suicide prevention then and there, providing a network of people you could 'ask' about anything, however embarrassing, but I didn't come to that until later". Religious responses to protest, pressure group and reasons why believers might support nonreligious organisations Do not kill May Christians support pressure groups which are not religious themselves but share similar moral stand points such as SPUC and Amnesty international as they both protect life. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." The concept of stewardship means Christians would support pressure groups that work to improve the environment such as Green Peace as this then cares for the world God gave them. Love your neighbour Christians would not support pressure groups or protests that use terrorism or violence to get their message across. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Christians support groups that use non-violent means to spread their message. Many Christians would rather use the power of prayer to support groups or pray for change in the world The majority of Christians strongly oppose this type of religious protest

3 Case studies of the work of religious groups and individuals who have supported human rights. CHAMPIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: INFLUENCED BY LOVE YOUR ENEMIES AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the twentieth century s best-known advocates for nonviolent social change. King s exceptional oratorical skills and personal courage first attracted national attention in 1955 when he and other civil rights activists were arrested after leading a boycott of bus company for requiring nonwhites surrender their seats to whites and stand or sit at the back of the bus. Over the following decade, King wrote, spoke and organized nonviolent protests and mass demonstrations to draw attention to racial discrimination and to demand civil rights legislation to protect the rights of African- Americans. In 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, King guided peaceful mass demonstrations that the white police force countered with police dogs and fire hoses, creating a controversy that generated newspaper headlines around the world. Subsequent mass demonstrations in many communities culminated in a march that attracted more than 250,000 protestors to Washington, DC, where King delivered his famous I have a dream speech in which he envisioned a world where people were no longer divided by race. So powerful was the movement King inspired, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the same year he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King is an icon of the civil rights movement. His life and work symbolize the quest for equality and nondiscrimination that lies at the heart of the American and human dream. CHAMPIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS DESMOND TUTU: INFLUENCED BY YOU ARE ALL MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD Desmond Tutu is one of South Africa s most well-known human rights activists. He was first a teacher, and later studied theology, becoming the first black Anglican Archbishop of both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Through his lectures and writings as an outspoken critic of apartheid, he was known as the voice of voiceless black South Africans. After the students rebellion in Soweto escalated into riots, Tutu supported the economic boycott of his country, while constantly encouraging reconciliation between various factions associated with apartheid. When South Africa s first multiracial elections were held in 1994 electing Nelson Mandela as the nation s first black president Mandela appointed Tutu chairperson of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In his human rights work, Tutu formulated his objective as a democratic and just society without racial divisions, and has set forth minimum demands for the accomplishment of this, including equal civil rights for all, a common system of education, and the cessation of forced deportation. For all this he has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Desmond Tutu continues to travel extensively, championing human rights and the equality of all people, both within South Africa and internationally.

4 THE MAIN 5 QUOTES FOR THIS TOPIC ARE: Love your Lord God with all your heart and love your neighbour as you love yourself. Do not kill. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Follow the 10 commandments. So God made man in his own image. HAVE YOU NOTICED! Much of what Christians think about Human Rights is the same as what they think about Prejudice. If you know these 5 you can give a Christian response to any question on Human Rights. REMEMBER YOU CAN USE THESE QUOTES IN MANY TOPICS AS WELL AS SPORT SUCH AS: RELATIONSHIPS, WORK, HUMAN RIGHTS, THE ENVIRONMENT, PREJUDICE, EARLY LIFE & WAR

5 This sheet covers the key headings from this topic. You need to be able to give a clear and concise Christian view on each of the headings. You should where possible support this with a quote from the Bible. You may use a quote more than once to support different topics. For each of the outside boxes draw and complete AT LEAST ONE but NO MORE THAN 3 boxes giving a Christian view on that issue. Make sure you have included a BIBLE QUOTE in a box or as a box on it s own. When you have finished choose a colour to represent each quote you have referred to. Use that colour to draw line s to show how one quote can be used in more than one topic. You could add a mental image to each key quote. Samaritans Religious organisations which support rights Protests Pressure groups Non religious organisations Religious responses CHRISTIAN VIEWS ON HUMAN RIGHTS Religious responses to the law and Human Rights Reasons for supporting Human Rights organisations Rights and responsibilities as a citizen Religious believers who have campaigned for human rights. Desmond Tutu Martin Luther King

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