Someone else’s rights

We live in a society that is obsessed with rights. I went online and found the following as a list of groups who have sought to identify and gain rights to which they feel entitled:

Animal Rights
Authors’ Rights
Citizens’ Rights
Children’s Rights
Consumers’ Rightsth-12
Creditors’ Rights
Fathers’ Rights
Human Rights
Native Rights
LGBT Rights
Men’s Rights
Minorities’ Rights
Mothers’ Rights
Plants’ Rights
Prisoners’ Rights
Students’ Rights
Victims’ Rights
Womens’ Rights
Workers’ Rights
Youth Rights
Disabled persons’ Rights

And this is only a partial list. We are indeed a rights-crazed people. Every day we pick up the paper or hear the news, some new group is advocating for their right to demand certain privileges and benefits they think they deserve.

Not that any of these are not legitimate — most of them are — it’s just that most groups clamoring for attention are blind to all others’ rights but their own. And to the extent that Christians enter this crowded ring to fight for whatever rights we believe we should have in society — like a Christian nation, or prayer in public schools, or the Ten Commandments on the wall — we belittle ourselves, God and the gospel by reducing all to just another special interest group.

Here’s an idea: If we are going to go into the marketplace carrying a cause, why not pick up someone else’s banner? Instead of marching for our own rights, why not join in the support of other people’s rights and especially those who might be too poor or too weak to have their own voice? Like the homeless, or the mentally ill, or the immigrant, or the abused, or the victims of sex trafficking, or single moms, or pregnant women. What a way to be identified in society — not as those who (“Ho-hum”) are seeking their own rights, but as those who are seeking to defend the rights of others. What an opportunity for the Gospel of Welcome to be welcomed into the marketplace! I somehow don’t see Jesus marching in His own parade, but I can clearly see Him marching along with those who have little or no voice. In fact, that was the parade He led when He was here without even trying, because these were the ones following Him.

I know that many of you are already doing this. Perhaps you could share some stories and give us some ideas of what you’ve seen happen by marching in someone else’s parade.

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9 Responses to Someone else’s rights

  1. LT says:

    Plants’ rights??? Wow. Thank you for this article. It relates to political/religious issues going on in my state at the moment. I appreciate you helping us keep our focus.

  2. Michael says:

    Too many people try to use Jesus as a poster boy for their cause/rights. Jesus didn’t die for our “rights”, He died for our wrongs.

    • Carole in Midland says:

      Wow, Michael, you very succinctly summed up the whole. I appreciate your comment and intend to plagiarize you to the max… if that’s okay with you!

  3. johnhaak says:

    I expect in The Catch Community you will eventually hear from some who are doing just what you describe … Working for Rights for others but with no High Profile themselves (and therefore Unknown to the us and Media).

    Reminds me of a Christian hospital in Africa where I learned that, when they were threatened by Muslim extremist, the local Muslim’s surrounded the facility and defended their right to be there. Funny how simple actions for other’s right to health care resulted in Others defending them.

  4. Andrew P. says:

    What about God’s rights? When we think about that, John, I suspect we’ll be doing some of the very thing you suggest.

  5. Pingback: Righteous anger | John Fischer The Catch

  6. the more laws that are made, the less freedom we have, so is man right? Making more laws or does it defy what Jesus died for? What does freedom look like to you? Is it more laws? Rights? Hmm, I do not think so, but you have the lists that others disagree.

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