The Creator Revealed

Creation and Human Relationships

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: TCR

Program Code: TCR180008B

00:04 Welcome back to The Creator Revealed.
00:06 If we believe
00:08 the biblical account of creation,
00:09 and we certainly do,
00:11 then we know that man was created special,
00:15 and that means that human rights are rooted
00:19 in the Bible's account of creation.
00:22 Well, certainly, history has shown us
00:24 that when people take
00:26 this particular understanding of humanity,
00:29 created in the image of God, created equal,
00:34 then with that understanding,
00:36 there are all kinds of wonderful benefits
00:37 that come along with that.
00:39 Amen.
00:40 We're going to meet a lawyer,
00:44 a lawyer who has practice in the area of civil rights
00:47 and religious freedom,
00:49 and his name happens to be James Standish.
00:51 And he can?
00:52 And he might just be my brother.
00:54 So I'm pretty proud of him.
00:56 And we certainly have had some
00:58 very interesting conversations together
01:00 over the course of our lifetime.
01:03 So here's my brother.
01:05 Let's meet him.
01:07 Welcome, James.
01:09 Thanks.
01:10 Well, it's great that you could join us.
01:13 And we've been talking
01:16 about this idea of human rights.
01:21 You're a lawyer, so tell us where exactly do our ideas
01:27 about the creation,
01:28 sort of, feed into the laws that we have to follow
01:32 in a country like the United States
01:34 or really in many other systems of law?
01:40 Well, as you know,
01:42 our idea of human rights is first expressed
01:45 in the Declaration of Independence,
01:47 where it says that we're endowed
01:48 by our creator.
01:50 So right from the very beginning,
01:52 the United States anchored our human rights
01:55 in the idea that we're all equal children of God.
01:59 Very interestingly, as you'll also know,
02:02 around the same time as the United States
02:05 had went through its revolution
02:06 and then adopted its constitution,
02:09 the country of France was going through
02:11 a similar revolution,
02:13 but they did not anchor their rights
02:15 in the idea of the Creator God,
02:18 and their revolution ended up as a bloodbath.
02:23 And it's actually their revolution
02:26 that has been more commonly followed
02:28 over the years than the American Revolution.
02:30 We think of the Marxist revolutions,
02:32 we think of the Fascist revolutions,
02:34 all of those are anchored in a secular idea
02:39 of the rights of the people and the rights of the state,
02:43 a very different idea.
02:45 One of the things that's interesting,
02:47 Tim and Shelley, that at least I find fascinating
02:50 is in addition to the United States
02:53 idea of human rights,
02:54 we have article,
02:56 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
02:58 that came out after World War II
03:02 through the United Nations' process.
03:03 And what is interesting is, over the years,
03:07 a number of regimes have critiqued
03:10 the United Nations Human Rights Declaration
03:14 because they say
03:16 it is anchored in a Judeo-Christian
03:19 view of the world and therefore,
03:21 it's not applicable to societies
03:24 that are not anchored in that same worldview.
03:30 And in a way, their right is overwhelming evidence
03:33 that Christians and Jews work together to formulate
03:37 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
03:39 And in a way, they are correct to say
03:42 those rights may not apply to our culture
03:45 because we don't buy the premises of those rights.
03:48 But then...
03:49 Obviously, people argue...
03:51 But then how would we respond then
03:54 to, let's say, atheists who say,
03:57 "Well, look, we don't need the Bible.
03:59 We don't need any God.
04:01 We can just sort of be good."
04:04 And why isn't that enough?
04:08 Well, the first question is to those who say,
04:10 "My religion is to be good or we can just be good
04:13 without the Bible,"
04:15 is this, what does it mean to be good?
04:19 For some of us, it means,
04:21 the statement to be good
04:24 means respecting other people's rights
04:28 to follow their own faith traditions,
04:30 it means following the freedom of speech,
04:32 permitting people the right to assemble,
04:34 etcetera.
04:35 For other people, the idea of allowing
04:38 that level of freedom is a dangerous thing
04:40 that results in behaviors or beliefs
04:42 that they disagree with, and therefore,
04:44 think you're objectively wrong.
04:46 Similarly, for some of us,
04:48 we believe that good involves protecting life,
04:52 both at the beginning of life and at the end of life.
04:55 For others,
04:57 there's nothing good about that.
04:59 It is just a matter,
05:01 and matter doesn't have innate rights.
05:04 It just has a utility.
05:07 And if it's unwanted,
05:10 then it should be able to be terminated.
05:13 So those...
05:14 So there we would be talking about the kinds of things
05:18 that we hear,
05:20 philosophers or ethicists like Peter Singer
05:23 then talking about this kind of utilitarian idea.
05:29 Exactly.
05:31 And, you know, once again, this goes to the heart of...
05:34 You can't say, "Let's just do what's good
05:38 because what is good, what is love, etcetera."
05:42 These are really the basis of a discussion.
05:45 And if you have a different view
05:47 of where you're getting the definitions from,
05:50 you're gonna come ultimately to different outcomes.
05:53 And you and I both lived in Southeast Asia
05:55 during very tumultuous times.
06:00 We know that people
06:01 who were part of Pol Pot's Cambodia,
06:03 for example,
06:05 they thought they were creating an ideal world.
06:08 And if you're creating an ideal utopia,
06:11 you have right to kill those who stand in its way.
06:15 It's the same philosophy that Robespierre
06:19 during the French Revolution went through.
06:21 If you're standing in the way of human perfection,
06:25 eliminating you benefits everybody,
06:28 so there's a utilitarian analysis
06:30 that says you should do it.
06:32 On the converse side,
06:33 there are those of us who believe
06:35 if you're created by God,
06:37 you have inalienable rights, that is,
06:39 those rights cannot be taken away,
06:41 and those rights include the right to liberty and life.
06:46 And even if there is a utility
06:50 in ending someone's life,
06:54 that utility cannot be pursued
06:57 because the right supersedes the utility.
07:01 Okay, so... Translate that to English.
07:04 What that means is, as I understand it,
07:08 what that would mean then is, "Hey..."
07:11 Really, when you were talking about things
07:14 like the value of somebody's life,
07:17 if one person's life,
07:21 if you judge it to have less value
07:23 than somebody else's life,
07:25 then it's okay to kill that other person,
07:28 it's okay for that person whose life is less valuable
07:32 to be dealt with differently.
07:35 There is no equality between people.
07:38 You are not equal just because you're human.
07:43 So a smart rich person might have more value
07:47 than a poor sick person.
07:48 And for our viewers and those who are listening,
07:52 who believes this?
07:54 Oh, this is a widely held belief,
07:55 but perhaps James could comment on that.
07:59 In our lifetimes, many people have believed it.
08:02 That's how we got Pol Pot in Cambodia.
08:05 It's how we had the about...
08:07 They estimated somewhere
08:09 in the range of 30 million people died
08:10 during Mao's rule of China.
08:12 It's what happened in the Soviet Union
08:15 where 10s of millions...
08:16 If you add up all the people killed
08:18 during the communist era, their estimates vary,
08:22 but they go as high as 100 million people.
08:24 That's even more than fascism.
08:26 But fascism also believed the same thing.
08:29 We're building a utopia here on earth,
08:33 therefore, anyone who's in the way
08:35 of getting to that utopia,
08:37 which will be good for everybody,
08:39 anyone who gets in the way of that should be eliminated.
08:44 And in fact, that's the moral thing to do
08:47 because we don't view
08:50 the right to life as an ultimate right,
08:53 we view it as balanced against the right of the state
08:56 and progress and all the other things
08:58 that these, sort of, regimes
09:02 and philosophies projected.
09:05 It's not...
09:07 What about here in the free world,
09:09 what happens when society,
09:11 you know, starts to embrace these kinds of ideas?
09:14 But let me ask this quick question.
09:16 This would be the rationale for genocide then, right?
09:21 It's the rationale... This pattern of thinking.
09:23 It's a rationale... Yeah, exactly.
09:25 It's the rationale for genocide,
09:27 but not just genocide.
09:29 It's the rationale for Gulags,
09:32 it's the rationale for secret police,
09:34 it's the rationale
09:35 for all of that restriction on people
09:38 because those people are the enemies of progress.
09:41 And if you're confident where progress is going
09:44 and you can identify people who stand in the way,
09:47 the idea is that those people's rights
09:50 must be sacrificed
09:51 for society's progress essentially.
09:54 How do we see it in western countries today?
09:56 Because we know that western countries
09:58 are becoming more secular
10:00 and that secularism has an impact
10:03 on that political process.
10:04 I think the way you see it most clearly
10:09 is in the disrespect for human life,
10:12 particularly at the early human life
10:14 and late human life.
10:16 As you know...
10:17 So you're talking there about abortion
10:20 and euthanasia then?
10:23 Yes, I am. Those two words.
10:25 Yeah. Exactly.
10:26 Well, we have to wrap things up.
10:27 But thank you so much for joining us.
10:29 James, it's been a real pleasure.
10:30 I could talk all day,
10:32 but we've got the rest of our lives together.
10:34 We've got to get on with this program.
10:36 But thank you very much
10:37 for taking the time and joining us.
10:39 Thank you, James.
10:41 You know, Shelley,
10:42 talking with James and being reminded of that time
10:46 when we were growing up in Thailand
10:48 and the slaughter
10:50 that was going on in the country
10:51 right next door.
10:52 Millions.
10:54 Millions of people slaughtered.
10:57 It's tempting for us
11:00 living in a relatively peaceful country
11:03 to imagine that our ideas about the creation,
11:07 you know, they don't have very much practical value.
11:12 But in reality,
11:13 this society that was founded on that principle
11:19 that it is self-evident that all men are created equal.
11:24 And as a consequence of that,
11:26 the human beings have unalienable rights.
11:29 That means it doesn't matter whether the person
11:32 is rich, poor, old, young, fit, ill, it doesn't matter.
11:37 Those rights cannot be taken away
11:39 from a human being.
11:40 What value there is in that. Yes.
11:43 What a blessing
11:44 there is in living in a society like that.
11:46 And the framework of our government
11:48 is really based on the laws of God,
11:50 and it's just something that...
11:52 It is. It's a human thing.
11:54 That means it's not perfect.
11:55 But it's a divine thing too.
11:57 It does, you know, bringing in those principles.
11:59 That's why I thank God every day
12:02 that I wake up in a free country.
12:05 Amen.


Revised 2019-03-28