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Mar 13 2014

Lively: Human Rights Really ‘Duties to God’

The absolutely unhinged bigot Scott Lively shows his complete disconnect from reality in this Worldnetdaily column declaring that Russia is “set to supplant U.S. as human rights leader.” But he offers a bizarre definition of human rights, saying that they are really duties placed on us by God.

It is therefore obvious why America is in decline and Russia is on the ascendancy in the matter of human rights. America has largely turned her back on God, reorganized her government and culture on a statist model and is plummeting in a death spiral of moral and ethical degeneracy. As our collective former (Bible-based) values of self-restraint and personal responsibility steadily decline, external controls and surveillance by the new police state increase. The rule of law becomes the rule of man, and equal justice under law becomes special rights for favored groups.

Conversely, Russia has begun embracing Christian values regarding family issues, albeit imperfectly, in stark contrast to its aggressively godless Soviet past. Repression in Russia is decreasing as rapidly as it is increasing in the U.S.

The crux of the human-rights debate is what it means to be human. Russia appears to be returning to its pre-Soviet understanding that humans are made in the image of God, and that our “rights” are really duties of respect and care for each other imposed on us by Him. This is why the first principle of both the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights is the protection of the Christian church, from which the very concept of modern human rights emerged. And this is why the greatest point of conflict between the U.S. and Russia is the question of homosexuality. (I believe even the conflict in Ukraine is being driven to a large extent by this issue, at least on the part of the Obama State Department and the homosexualist leaders of the EU.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you theocracy. We don’t have any “rights” (the quotation marks around it speak volumes), we have only duties imposed on us by God (meaning by Lively’s interpretation of what he thinks God says, of course). And if we do not oppress people on the basis of that interpretation, we are violating “human rights” under this twisted definition. Up is down, black is white, war is peace, and oppression is freedom.

And that’s not even to mention the bizarre idea that the situation in the Ukraine has something to do with homosexuality and that the Bill of Rights is about the “protection of the Christian church,” by which he means to say that the Bill of Rights gives the “Christian church” the authority to decide the limits of everyone else’s rights. Orwell to the white courtesy phone.

21 comments

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  1. 1
    busterggi

    Lively has no concept of the hideous history of the Christian church apparently.

  2. 2
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    This is actually a basic division between Judaism and Christianity – perhaps even *the* basic division.

    In Judaism, one sins against other people, against animals, against the earth, *and* against god.

    In Christianity, one only sins against god. When one murders, when one abuses an animal, when one poisons the earth, these are sins against god. One asks god for forgiveness, and god is authorized to forgive, no matter the target of one’s sin.

    In Judaism, one must seek to make one’s sins against another person right by interacting with that person – ameliorating harm done to and asking forgiveness from *the person* not god.

    In Christianity, there are ultimately no duties to neighbors, only duties to god. You might have a duty to god that requires certain behaviors towards neighbors, but how the neighbors feel about it and whether or not they are harmed is entirely irrelevant.

  3. 3
    Sastra

    A right is the flip side of a duty. If I have a right to be respected by you, then I have a duty to respect you in turn. We stand in moral equality to each other. Otherwise, we’re not really talking about human rights, we’re talking about demands. I can demand that you respect me even though I don’t respect you — and impose this through force.

    If we have duties to God, then does God have duties towards us? The usual answer is no: it’s one way, with demands and obedience because we and God are not on a level of moral equality.

    Which shoots the whole “human rights come from God” argument out of the water.

  4. 4
    cptdoom

    You can see how “America is in decline and Russia is on the ascendancy” by comparing immigration in the two countries. All those people flooding into Russia on a daily basis and eagerly signing up for citizenship classes, never mind creating a vibrant environment of small businesses that are revitalizing its cities are a clear sign that Russia and her “God” are supreme. Wait, all those people want to come to America, even though we are “in a death spiral of moral and ethical degeneracy”? I’m confused.

    Oh well, perhaps Mr. Lively could start the trend by permanently moving to Russia, please? Although, whether he leaves or not, he’s given us a great way to pay down part of the national debt. As the Bill of Rights only protects the “Christian” church, does that mean we can confiscate the land and property of all non-Christian churches? It worked for Henry VIII.

  5. 5
    Modusoperandi

    …and is plummeting in a death spiral of moral and ethical degeneracy.

    Back when I was a pilot, I got caught in a GayTornado (which form over gay marrige ceremonies), and is plummeted in a death spiral of moral and ethical degeneracy. Only my own rampant, throbbing heterosexuality saved me. True story.

     

    Repression in Russia is decreasing as rapidly as it is increasing in the U.S.

    Orwell would be proud. Or sad. One of those.

     

    And that’s not even to mention the bizarre idea that the situation in the Ukraine has something to do with homosexuality…

    Crimea is the Black Sea’s Fire Island. True story.

     
    busterggi “Lively has no concept of the hideous history of the Christian church apparently.”
    Sure he does. It’s what he’s trying to bring back.

  6. 6
    Pierce R. Butler

    Repression in Russia is decreasing as rapidly as it is increasing in the U.S.

    Repression of homophobes, that is – does any other kind matter?

  7. 7
    fifthdentist

    That’s just crazy talk. Here’s what’s really going on:

    “John Benefiel, the self-proclaimed “apostle” who was involved in Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally came to our attention a few years ago after we discovered videos of him proclaiming that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol and that homosexuality in an Illuminati conspiracy, was the guest on Cindy and Mike Jacobs’ “God Knows” program recently where he detailed his efforts to break Baal’s control over the United States of America.
    “Citing the work of pseudo-scholar Barry Fell, Benefiel asserted that it is an established fact that ancient Egyptian Baal-worshipers came to America and left thousands of rock carvings spread all over the nation literally claiming the land in the name of Baal.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/john-benefiel-america-cursed-because-ancient-egyptians-dedicated-continent-baal

  8. 8
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Crimea is the Black Sea’s Fire Island. True story.

    Is that why Tennyson is always going on about how “boldly they rode, and well!” in the Crimea?

  9. 9
    freehand

    Crip Dyke, you’ve got it. The US Christian fundies think we non-believers are without a moral compass because we have no arbitrary list of forbidden and required behaviors from our invisible king. They really can’t grasp that since we can’t get forgiveness from their pooka we have to make it right with the person we’ve wronged. Even though this “golden rule” was taught as the center of the moral instruction of a certain rabbi they keep on about.
    .
    They don’t understand that adults see morality as how we treat other people. For them, morality is what Daddy told them to do or not do. Hence, they can conflate gays with child molesters, or rape with simple premarital sex, and are genuinely puzzled by our anger. These behaviors are on the forbidden list. Consent is irrelevant. Their morality is at the toddler level, and often combined with a bullied child’s natural meanness to those weaker than he or she.

  10. 10
    theguy

    It’s ironic that ol’ Adolf claims that human rights are worsening in the US, and improving in Russia, and then accuses the US of being a police state.

    There are criticisms of the NSA to be made, but the US is not a police state. Russia certainly is. Teabag’s complaint is as hypocritical as Snowden criticizing the US and then fleeing to Russia.

    I know some people say rights come from God, because (as they say) rights would otherwise come from the government, who could choose to take those rights away. But, if God is all-powerful, and He gives rights, He could take them away also!

  11. 11
    Francisco Bacopa

    if he loves Russia so much he should go there.

    “Go back to Russia” is the taunt we should be yelling at every social conservative.

  12. 12
    sigurd jorsalfar

    A right is the flip side of a duty. If I have a right to be respected by you, then I have a duty to respect you in turn.

    Sastra, this isn’t my understanding of how a right is a flip side of a duty. I understand it as, if I have a right to be respected by you, then you have a duty to respect me. It doesn’t follow as a matter of logic that I have a duty to respect you.

    So a duty owed by humans to God would mean that God has rights. Lively is mis-defining as ‘human rights’ things which are really ‘divine rights’. His definition of ‘human rights’ is exactly opposite what the term means to everyone else. Yes he is a thoroughly dishonest and Orwellian creature.

  13. 13
    anubisprime

    it is an established fact that ancient Egyptian Baal-worshipers came to America

    I would think the only ‘established fact’ here is the established fact that Scott Lively is a rather dim, dishonest and ignorant cretin.

    and left thousands of rock carvings spread all over the nation literally claiming the land in the name of Baal

    How strange that not one of these rock carvings ever made it into either a University research project, a real natural history museum or at least into Hambones’ pretend gawp-a-torium…out of these thousands of rock carvings strewn around that claimed ‘the land’ in the name of Baal…

    It seems not one of the thousands of graffiti covered rocks is available for public viewing…nor been photographed or been documented, displayed in image or …well actually found!…now that is an ‘established fact’ you can take to the bank!

  14. 14
    Sastra

    sigurd jursalfar #12 wrote:

    Sastra, this isn’t my understanding of how a right is a flip side of a duty. I understand it as, if I have a right to be respected by you, then you have a duty to respect me. It doesn’t follow as a matter of logic that I have a duty to respect you.

    It works both ways. Yes, my right for respect creates your duty to respect me. But a rights-based ethic is reciprocal among equals. I can’t claim a right I don’t also give. This was the whole basis of the Enlightenment ideal.

    The way theists look at ‘rights,’ they think of it like ‘permission.’ The King owns the bridge. If he gives you the “right” to go over the bridge then you are allowed to go over it. Otherwise, no. Someone who tries to take away your ‘right’ has to deal with the King’s army. But the King can take it away for any reason. An absolute ruler is in charge and has no duties to anyone.

    An authoritarian mindset explains rights and duties in terms of power hierarchies and commands. In other words, not intrinsic to the worth of the human and recognized through reason and an assumption of equality, but ‘given’ to the human like a gift — or an order. It doesn’t work.

  15. 15
    hunter

    “Repression in Russia is decreasing as rapidly as it is increasing in the U.S.”

    Wow. Just wow. Talk about oblivious.

  16. 16
    sigurd jorsalfar

    Sastra, it only works both ways when it’s agreed that two people have reciprocal rights and duties. It doesn’t follow as a matter of logic that every right A has from B means that B has the same right owed from A. For example, if I owe you $10, then I have a duty to pay you $10, and you have a right to receive $10 from me. But it doesn’t follow at all that I also have a right to receive $10 from you, which is what you are arguing.

    Lively’s mistake isn’t that he has a theist’s understanding of rights and duties, or an authoritarian mindset. His ‘mistake’ is that he deliberately and deceitfully uses gives words the exact opposite meaning they hold for everyone else when it suits him.

  17. 17
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Dear #10

    “There are criticisms of the NSA to be made, but the US is not a police state. Russia certainly is. Teabag’s complaint is as hypocritical as Snowden criticizing the US and then fleeing to Russia.”

    Fuck off.

  18. 18
    Sastra

    sigurd jorsalfar #16 wrote:

    Sastra, it only works both ways when it’s agreed that two people have reciprocal rights and duties.

    Yes, and forming a rational government based on reciprocal rights and duties requires an assumption of equal footing among citizens — which Divine Command Theory isn’t working on. Your example does apply as a more general principle: if money is owed, then there is both a right to be paid and a concomitant duty to pay.

    I think Lively is making several mistakes.

  19. 19
    dingojack

    cptdoom (#4) – Since when has the Catholic Church been ‘non-Christian’? (Am I smelling ‘no true Scotsman’?)

    Modusoperandi (#5) – Well of course Crimea is like Fire Island, and here‘s the real reason why! (Yours is not to make reply).

    theguy (#10) – “…as hypocritical as Snowden criticizing the US and then fleeing to Russia.”
    Firstly, he didn’t criticise the US, he blew the whistle on the US. Secondly, what should he have done? Come home to be ‘tried’ by some secret military star-chamber and then be placed in some ‘undisclosed location’ for the rest of time?
    “‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
    ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’
    ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’”
    Dingo

  20. 20
    greg1466

    Putting aside the rampant delusions, projection, hypocrisy and irony, did he really put “Bible-based” in the same sentence as “self-restraint” and “personal responsibility”? Quite obviously he has never actually read the Bible.

  21. 21
    dhall

    “Russia appears to be returning to its pre-Soviet understanding that humans are made” to be serfs. Just saying that if he really thinks that tsarist Russia was all about human rights and godliness . . .

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