Friday, January 16, 2004

Regarding the AMerican Library Assosciation's decision not to support Cuban Librarirans jailed for making copies of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Nate Hentoff writes:

On December 9, one of Castro's defenders, Ann Sparanese, a member of the policy-making council of the ALA, sent a letter to her colleagues on the council, in which she wrote:

"Despite the fact that we as librarians prize them highly, political rights -- for instance, intellectual freedom -- is only one of a constellation of human rights, some of which Cuba respects in greater measure than the United States." Among those, she added, was "universal, free education."

Without "only" the intellectual freedom of conscience and speech, how can one defend any human right against a dictatorship? Or against any government, including ours?

Hentoff is right about this poppycock. But it illustrates a pro-life point.

All of the "constellation of rights" are dependent on the most fundamental right of all -- the right to life, or to put it another way, the right not to be killed.

If I can be killed for no reason, even in the womb, my right to "universal, free education" isn't worth a whole lot is it?

We've gotten to the point in rehtoric where all calims to rights are treated as equal. This case illustrates what happens when we do that.

Trading in the right to life for the right to self-determination is like trading the sun for a star in a dar away galaxy. It might be a pretty star, but the sun is our source of life. Once that's gone, we won't be around to enjoy the constellation.
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