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recognition of the
freedom, justice and peace in the world,
rights of all members of the
the equal and inalienable
inherent dignity and of
human family is the foundation of
Declaration of
Human Rights
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When I think of my experience of Jesus in the scripture, tradition, reason, and spiritual
experience: Jesus said that I come that they may have life, and that they might have it
more abundantly [John 10:10]. Jesus continues to model a way of liberty and freedom
through the scriptures. Mark Chapter 5 presents a narrative when Jesus finds a man
dwelling in the tombs where he was tortured day and night. Jesus illustrates the right to
security of person by liberating the man in the tomb from the things that tormented, then
securing his safety. Moreover, Jesus suggests that the man goes and tells the people in
the nearby town about his liberation which also gave them safety. Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through
Christ by faith we firmly and safely stand in the favor of God [Romans 5:1,2].
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Shirley T. said:
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Everyone has
the right to
security of person.
When you think of your experience of Jesus—in scripture, tradition,
reason, and spiritual experience:
—How does he communicate that God wants us to have life?
—Does he affirm or in some way model liberty or freedom?
—Does Jesus have "security of person" in his earthly ministry?
—Does Jesus want "security of person" for us now?
Sam offered this comment:
In John 10:10, we read that Jesus came so that we may not only have life, but have life  
abundantly. Jesus did not come simply because he wanted to ensure that we would have
life. Rather, he came, died, and reconciled the world to God so that we could have life in
abundance, an abundance that comes only as a gift of God.  God loved us and wanted us
to have life so much that He was willing to sacrifice His son in order for this goal to be

I would argue that the work of Jesus definitely brought about a model of liberty and
freedom. We can identify two types of freedom with Jesus: 1) Freedom as identified in
Galatians  5:1—“For freedom Christ has set us free”.  2) The life and teachings of Jesus
fought for freedom from tyrannical and oppressive rule. In a period in which economics,
religion, culture, and politics were all intertwined and served as  pillars for the society,  
an attack on one of these pillars was simultaneously an attack on all other three. In short,
the freedom that Jesus stood for was not only freedom in a spiritual and religions sense
but also freedom from oppression in the political and economic realm of everyday life.
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James added:
Paul declares that “for freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1a). It is tempting to take
this statement as a ringing endorsement of democracy and move on, but our freedom in
Christ is more nuanced than our constitutional freedoms. Life in Christ is not libertinism.
Christ’s ministry is full of admonitions to feed the hungry, comfort the sick, love one’s
enemies, and do justice.

Christ does not welcome Christians into an idle life where all things are permitted.
Instead, Christ's resurrection proclaims God’s total care for us. Knowing that we belong
to God, we are free from sickness, oppression, and even death itself. Christ proclaims
this freedom in his ministry by freeing people from disease.

Christ wants us to be free from the things that preclude our development, including
political oppression, restricted speech, sickness, and hunger. Freed from these restraints,
we are able to develop into disciples of Christ and to gird our behavior around the
commandments that we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength and that we
love our neighbor as ourselves.
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Annie said:
For some reason, I think of “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or
'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things;
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (Matt 6:31-32 RSV),
particularly in regards to security.

Luke also addresses this need for security in his version of the Beatitudes in the Sermon
on the Plain.  Everyone should have “security of person,” partly to be able to focus on
religion and God instead of anxieties about getting the next basic necessity. Also, God
freed Israel from Egypt, which relates to the right to liberty, so they could worship him.
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Salai shared this observation:
To begin with, we have life only because of the incarnation, life, ministry, crucifixion,
and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants everyone, regardless of whether s/he is a
Christian or not, to have a life of peace, liberty, and prosperity against oppression,
violence, and hatred. He wants to save everybody as everyone is created by God.

We have really been endowed with freedom. In the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John,
Jesus said, "I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest" (John 10:

Personally, I do believe that Jesus wants us to have security of life. Jesus said, “Don’t be
afraid (Matthew 10:28). Jesus was a political refugee as he was taken to Egypt to take
political refuge there to avoid being arrested by Herod. Indeed, Jesus initiated his ministry
with a number of struggles, and he made things to secure his life and ministry.
Eventually, his life ended with insecurity, as well as violence, for the sake of giving us
freedom and life security.
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Josiah offered:
And they were bringing children to [Jesus] that he might touch them, and the disciples
rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the
children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God”
(Mark 10:13-14: ESV).

If the King of God’s Kingdom is no greater than a peasant, then its royal subjects must
be peasant children. In the first-century Mediterranean world unless an infant child was
accepted as a member of the family by the father then the child was considered a
nobody, literally a non-person, and was consequently dumped in the outskirts of the city
either to die in the gutter or to be reared as a slave (Crossan 1995: 64).

That being the case, Jesus’ action confers personhood, self-worth, and social healing
upon the destitute children, making, in essence, central to God’s kingdom what is
peripheral to the world; in fact, what is even considered marginal within the margins.

Considering that poor children are the “oppressed of the oppressed,” occupying the
lowest rung of the world labor market (Galeano 2000: 14) and lacking the ability to
defend their human rights in the public/private sphere, Jesus’ action incarnates, and even
radicalizes, the supposition that “
everyone…especially the child orphans, sweat-shop
workers, beggars, and sex-slaves…have the right to life, liberty and security of person”
[emphasis mine].

In Latin America children and adolescents make up nearly half the population. Half of
that half lives in misery. Survivors: in Latin America a hundred children die of hunger or
curable disease every hour, but that doesn’t stem their numbers in the streets and fields
of a region that manufactures poor people and outlaws poverty. The poor are mostly
children, and children are mostly poor. Among the system’s hostages, they have it the
worst. Society squeezes them dry, watches them constantly, punishes them, sometimes
kills them; almost never are they listened to, never are they understood.
(Galeano 2000: 14)
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From the Decalogue we find commands not to murder, not to steal, and the list goes on
(Ex. 20ff). It seems that to respect these various commands, one would be upholding the
primary tenets of this article. To recognize YHWH as the maker of life is to be obligated
to care for and respect that life. To do otherwise is both an offense to your neighbor as
well as to God. This is not to set up libertarian human freedom but to set a community of
people in proper relation to one another.
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Sean said:
John added:
I believe that first and foremost, Jesus was a teacher.  As a teacher, he communicated to
his followers (and his audiences) the importance respecting the right of each person to
have life, liberty, and security of person. Although I cannot match words exactly, I
believe the intent of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount was to outline both human rights
and also human responsibility.  The beatitudes serve as an example of the respect he
wanted for mankind.  It also serves to remind us that the blessings we extend upon
others come back to us in return.  It is said that the golden rule (Do unto Others) came
from the Sermon on the Mount.

In all of his teachings, Jesus showed he believed in personal freedom.  In one of the
gospel stories, Jesus stopped the elders from stoning a woman for her sin of adultery.  
He did this by asking if anyone of them had not sinned.  I believe that Jesus believed in
security of person.  He allowed himself to be stripped of his own personal security to
show how inhuman such treatment becomes.  In the accounts of the crucifixion, we are
shown how both his captors and many onlookers became blinded to their own humanity
and cheered the cruelty toward a fellow human being.  To me, this is a very graphic
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Heroes & Heroines
Of Human Rights
...that the Archbishop of
Canterbury drafted
Magna Carta?
M. Stephen Langton
served as Archbishop of
Canterbury from 1208 to
1228.  In 1213, he called
for the charter of Henry
1 to be renewed.  Two
years later, when the
barons confronted King
John at Runnymede,
Langton had lent his
learned hand to one of
the landmarks documents
of human rights.

In addition to Langton,
the the affixing of the
king's seal to the charter
was witnessed by the
Archbishop of Dublin and
the Bishops of  London,
Bath, Winchester,
Lincoln, Salisbury,
Rochester, Worcester,
Ely, Hereford,
Chichesther, and Exeter.

Additionally, 20 abbots
witnessed the ceremony.