Friday, December 10, 2004

International Human Rights Day

Today marks the fifty-sixth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article 1, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. " This radical assertion of the fundamental equality of all human beings compels us to look beyond the many characteristics that separate us from one another--sex, race, nationality, age, religion, wealth, education, and more--and to focus on what unites us. It calls us to avoid dehumanizing others--even our enemies--and to work to affirm "the inherent dignity . . . of all members of the human family." It asks us, in short, to do what all respectable religions have always asked their adherents to do.

Mark the day.