Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rights Talk

Some links to things originally published last week: Paul Gottfried, What's Wrong with Human Rights

And a coincidental post by the Oz Conservative: The Pope on Rights

The Oz Conservative points out:
It's a pity the Pope didn't draw this out more. What, for instance, would be some examples of rights that a person considered integrally would have? Wouldn't a person, considered in their communitarian dimension, have a right to preserve the communal identity from which he derives a significant aspect of his identity and his commitment to a larger society?

The American Catholic Church doesn't think so, holding instead that there is a right to immigrate:
Persons have the right to immigrate and thus government must accommodate this right to the greatest extent possible, especially financially blessed nations.

Bishops may talk about what we are required to do for the stranger or the foreigner, as teachers and from the perspective of moral theology or the moral law. Even the Greeks talked about the obligations in xenia or hospitality, and such a similar understanding may be common to other ancientcultures as well. But they may go too far in advocating that immigrants be automatically put on the path to citizenship, without due consideration of whether they have assimilated or not. As I've stated before, our bishops are lacking with respect to the science of politics, and too many of them theorize without any concrete experience of living among immigrants. (They may minister to them, but they do not live among them.) They do not give sufficient attention to what is needed to fully integrate them, nor do they talk about the serious obligations of immigrants to communities that accept them. What about what illegal immigrants owe to their communities in justice? The duty not to cheat or to lie or to defraud?

So, the first-world bishops of Europe remain committed to the program: European bishops on the importance of fostering a sense of belonging.

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