Today has been designated Bloggers Unite for Human Rights day for the international blogging community to use the power of the blog to send out messages of support for human rights. For their web site: "Bloggers Unite is an initiative designed to harness the power of the blogosphere to make the world a better place. By challenging bloggers to blog about a particular social cause on a single day, a single voice can be joined with thousands of others to help make a real positive difference, from raising awareness for cancer, to an effort of better education systems or support third world countries." Sounds like a plan.
If you are interested, the web site is http://www.unite.blogcatalog.com/
I've chosen to post some parts of John McCain's recent speech at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. The speech is titled His Vision for Defending the Freedom and Dignity of the World's Vulnerable. It encompasses everything from slavery, human trafficking, religious freedom around the world, Internet exploitation of children, etc. It can be found in full at http://www.johnmccain.com/.
"There is a tendency in our age to accede to the spurious excuse of moral relativism and turn away from the harshest examples of man's inhumanity to man; to ignore the darker side of human nature that encroaches upon our decency by subtle degree. There are many reasons for this. Blessed with opportunity, and intent on the challenges of work and family, our own lives often seem too full and hectic to take notice of offenses that seem distant from our own reality."
"Confronting evil has never been easy - in our age or any other. But the failure to do so affects even those who are complacent with our own blessings and secure in our human rights. Accepting the degradation of values we believe are universal is to relinquish some of our own humanity. America was founded on the belief in the inherent dignity of all human life and that his dignity can only be preserved through shared respect and shared responsibility. We can retain our own freedom when others are robbed of theirs, but not the sense of virtue that made our revolution a moral as well as political crusade, and which recognizes that personal happiness is so much more than pleasure, and requires us to serve causes greater than self-interest."
"It is also the appropriate concern of a nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are equal, to encourage and coax other cultures into abandoning practices that afflict the happiness and health of women and children, whether they be practices that mutilate their bodies or impose on them marriage before their maturity and without their informed consent. I would insist that our diplomacy actively raise and discourage in our relationships with other countries customs that so degrade and physically threaten people, and explain that the full benefits of friendship with the United States are predicated on a shared respect for the basic right of women and children not to suffer atrocities to their physical and emotional health to protect traditions that should have been ended long ago."
"Our nation, whose founders sacrificed for the belief that we would be an example to the world, has long appreciated that our freedom confers responsibilities on us all, and among them, is our respect for the freedom of others. Ours is not a perfect history. But it is a history distinguished by our pursuit of this ideal. As we pursue greater individual freedom and economic opportunity, as we take advantage of new technologies and explore a world more accessible to more people than ever before, we must be diligent in our support of those rights, and in our active opposition to the enemies of human dignity in our own society and in all the dark corners of the world. We must remember that our freedoms are not only defended by our diplomacy and military power but, very importantly, by the decency and respect with which we treat one another, and by our belief that as we our dignity is entitled to respect so we are obliged to respect and defend the dignity of others. Ours is a nation with a conscience, and thank God we are."
Freedom is a human right, the most basic human right.