Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 10:55

Rights

Written by 

 

From where do we derive our rights as people?

 

Is it from the government, the constitution, or the bill of rights?

 

If it is from any of these they can be taken away, modified, the meaning changed, or enforced only for a particular group. For example, the book Sacrifice Zones could have been easily called Right-less Zones.

 

What if our rights were derived from the seventh principle of the Unitarian Universalist faith principles?

 

Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

 

Principle number seven: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

What if being an expression of the interdependent web of existence was the source of our rights? Then no King, Queen, President, (think free speech zones), or legislative body could take or alter the meaning of our rights.

 

Rosemary Rauford Ruether in a response to Thomas Berry's work, The Great Work says, “ that the transformation that is needed to achieve a sustainable society must contain a dynamic interaction of three components: transformation of consciousness and culture, transformation of technology and transformation of social, legal and economic relations between humans.

There cannot be a focus on only one or two of these components at the expense of the other(s). The transformation of culture and consciousness includes a profound deconstruction of the patterns of hierarchical dualism in Western theological, philosophical, psychology and scientific thought and their reconstruction in terms of relations of dynamic mutuality.”

 

Bruce Alexander in his work the, Globalization of Addiction, says that central to the process of recovering from the globalization of addiction is, “Getting beyond the first steps of social action described here requires a global transformation in world view.”

 

In Thomas Berry’s thinking: “Firstly, the primary status of the universe. The universe is, ‘the only self-referential reality in the phenomenal world. It is the only text without context. Everything else has to be seen in the context of the universe’. The second element is the significance of story, and in particular the universe as story. ‘The universe story is the quintessence of reality. We perceive the story. We put it in our language, the birds put it in theirs, and the trees put it in theirs. We can read the story of the universe in the trees. Everything tells the story of the universe. The winds tell the story, literally, not just imaginatively. The story has its imprint everywhere, and that is why it is so important to know the story. If you do not know the story, in a sense you do not know yourself; you do not know anything."

 

The myth we have been living with, internalized into our very body is proving to be destructive to our planet and our bodies. The rights granted by governing agencies play a role in this destruction. For a recent example the State of Massachusetts was contesting the continuation of a nuclear plant whose time was up, and has recently proven to have difficulty in operating in the snow storm that just past through the state. The Federal government on behalf of a citizen of Louisiana, Entergy denied the state's wishes. “The state's attorney general contended that the decision should have considered safety issues raised by similar boiling water reactors and spent fuel pools damaged during the Fukushima Daiichi crisis in Japan. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its Atomic Safety and Licensing Board declined to hold a new hearing on the re-licensing. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston upheld that decision, the Cape Cod Times reported.”

 

The federal government, the courts and the corporation trumped a state's rights and thus safety concerns. This is a theme in the narrative we must transform and move out of, clearly the human rights, the humans of Massachusetts are subjugated to the rights of the legal citizen of Louisiana, Entergy.

 

Having rights originating from being an expression of this wonderful web of existence, which means local communities would trump powers from thousands of miles away, would change the story in which we live.

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 16:10
Greg Wilson

Ask Gregory

A progressive advice column must deal with at least two areas of life. One is the interaction of relationships, the every day moving about of families and couples, individual growth and the struggles we all go through as we pass through time. The second area is how culture, laws, religion, and social constructs affect our daily living. For example, “How do I deal with my Christian fundamentalist brother?” or “How do I introduce my family to my partner of four years knowing they supported Amendment Two?” Some of the issues we deal with are unique and I hope in this column our community finds a place to deal with that uniqueness. There have been moments in my life where a word, a comment from some one at the right time made a difference in how I saw a situation and the decisions I made. The older I become the more I realize the wisdom in listening. Decisions that seem important, or seem unimportant, can influence years of a persons life.

Dr. Gregory Wilson’s D. Min. is in Pastoral Psychotherapy

Login to post comments
You are here: Home Articles Rights