What & Why of Human Dignity

Signing of the Constitution, ca. 1860-1870

Signing of the Constitution, ca. 1860-1870

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…
~ Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen United States of America, as posted on Archives.gov

The “news” media has been all abuzz about the killing of Cecil the lion by dentist Walter Palmer. The story has gone international, in fact. Yesterday, it ranked 7th on Google’s trending search topics. It ranks just under the ever-so-important topic of Ben Affleck’s nanny, apparently now love interest, not being celeb obsessed.  You would think that all of the celebrity gossip and animal stories that there would be nothing really important going on in the world.
Almost every real story, that is, not celebrity gossip, of late seems to hold a common theme: We have forgotten what human dignity and worth is, why it exists and where it comes from.

In this increasingly secular society, most have forgotten what the founding father’s had taken for granted. Liberal political thought, which has infected so-called “conservatives” as well, is that a manmade piece of paper is what gives us our rights. It is actually the language of dictators that says it is the state that gives rights to people, but the ones who wrote the Declaration of Independence clearly stated that our rights come from God.
However, in a world that has purposeful amnesia about God, even in their faulty view of Him, a dead lion is more important than a human being.
Don’t get me wrong. I like animals. In fact, many of them are very tasty. I think Bambi looks delicious on my plate. There once was a time, growing up on a farm, that rabbit was served and tasted quite good smothered in milk gravy. People sometimes ask what rabbit tastes like, and I truthfully tell them it tastes a lot like squirrel.
Mankind was made to rule the earth. The fact is that human beings have made quite a mess of things rather than improving them. However, that does not change the fact that the earth was created for us. We human beings were created special, and we are given such a special state that the Bible makes it quite clear that we are different from all other living creatures on this earth:

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
~ Ge 1:26-27

There is so much packed into here! God creates two human beings, “male and female”, and the fact that there are two united in marriage that have dominion over this part of creation places human beings in a special category!
Notice how marriage adds to the dignity of human beings as given from God.  The whole debate over the definition of marriage, or even whether or not the state issues marriage licenses, is beside the point because God created marriage.
Animals do not marry. Most do not even mate for life. Marriage is not “natural” in the sense that it occurs in nature.
In fact, the inconsistencies that revolve around marriage are too numerous to list here, but one that stands out like a sore thumb is the notion that marriage itself is not natural. In fact, the liberal view is often that marriage is a male created institution designed to enslave and/or oppress women. If that is the case, then how does “gay marriage” add to their dignity?
The dignity was given by God, and in fact the whole notion of not only marriage but dignity was defined by God at Creation. Clarence Thomas was excoriated for recognizing something that used to be a very common idea: God gave us rights and dignity, and only He can take those things away!
Clarence Thomas went as far as to state that slavery and internment in a concentration camp cannot take away one’s dignity.  Totally missing the point, godless people argue otherwise. The reason is simple: They don’t believe in God, so they do not get their self-worth from a notion of God.

Justice Thomas need have spent just one day with us in the mosquito-infested swamplands in that Arkansas heat, eating the slop served from the kitchen, to understand that it was the government’s very intent to strip us of our dignity and our humanity. Whether it succeeded with all of us is another question…
~ George Takei, “George Takei to Clarence Thomas: Denying our rights denies our dignity

Wrong! It is not “another question”, it is the question. No one can take your dignity away, but you can surely give it away! This is just another blatant example of the victim mentality that this society so much loves to propagate. By being a victim, you are relieving yourself of so much guilt, but at the same time you are giving away any power you have to change your circumstances.
By giving away your dignity and worth, you devalue what human dignity and worth is.
What is human dignity and worth? It is the knowledge that we are created in the image of God and potentially eternal sons and daughters in His family! We are worth something because God has given us worth and potential.
Speaking of concentration camps, what does the practical application of this knowledge look like in everyday life? Would we be political entities that lightly use concentration camp language to describe in hyperbolic terms what a treaty with Iran is like? I don’t think so. Would it suggest, as the opposite side did, that you have the “right” to state your opinion but that the state has the “right” to detain you in a concentration camp in response?  What is a “right”, then? Oh, yeah! The state giveth and the state taketh away…
Does valuing human worth create a nonprofit organization that kills children and sells their body parts? I don’t think so.
Does valuing human dignity go into public locations and shoot up total strangers?  I don’t think so.
Does valuing human worth seek to obstruct justice by saving the lives of those who would destroy other humans?  I don’t think so.
Does valuing human dignity mean acting “More pious” than others when in reality we all are sinners pretty much on a level playing field?  I don’t think so.
I don’t know if what Walter Palmer did was illegal or not, and I’m just as sure that 75% of his critics don’t know it either. I do know that calling him “morally dead” and other such things is downright laughable and not worthy of the God-given dignity and worth that is given to human beings.
In a world filled with wars, stranger and stranger diseases, famines, drought and other factors affecting the quality of lives of human beings, it strikes me as odd that people get so worked up over what amounts to almost nothing in comparison and yet glibly and cluelessly go about spouting off nonsense that betrays the lack of knowledge of the inherent value given to human beings by God Almighty.
Sadly, I have witnessed such upside-down values even within the Church body.  We really need to stop and think — not just occasionally but each and every time — and compare our speech and even our thought against God’s written word.

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