We all need guidance on ‘rights’ issues, particularly Christians

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial
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The Presbyterian General Assembly will be held next week, one of the highlights of the church calendar.

There will be much discussion, questioning, debate and decision-making at the annual event in Belfast.

One interesting development to watch is that the assembly will receive a report on human rights, which seeks to establish a framework, based on Biblical principles, to assist Presbyterians respond to rights-based issues.

Rights is a huge area of public and private life.

The Equality Commission has released findings that 9 out of 10 people in Northern Ireland want to see equality, and want to see public figures taking a lead on the issue.

It is no surprise that almost everybody will say that they are in favour of equality and human rights.

But some groups seize on these terms in ways that alienate whole sections of the community.

Some of the most shrill users of the phrase ‘human rights’ are apologists for terrorists who were the worst human rights abusers in western Europe since World War II.

And equality did not mean much to Ashers bakery when it wanted not to have to bake a cake with a slogan it found upsetting, until the Supreme Court rule in their favour.

This is an emerging and controversial subject area and we are all in need of guidance, particularly Christians, who increasingly fear that their own rights are being neglected.