To Be An Educated Member Of Society, You Need An Overview of Human Rights

To Be An Educated Member Of Society, You Need An Overview of Human Rights

There are several rights that come to mind which are necessary in simply continuing to be alive. However, human rights are much more than the right to survive, because living means more than surviving.


What does one think of when they think of human rights?

Health. Education. Water. Shelter. There are several rights that come to mind which are necessary for simply continuing to be alive. However, human rights are much more than the right to survive, because living means more than surviving.

Regardless of where we are or what we do in our daily lives, we all possess the right to exercise one human right in particular that is often not utilized to its full potential: freedom of speech, the ability to advocate for oneself. Most civil right movements have stemmed from self-advocacy by minorities. Fighting against discrimination through protests and demonstrations is what preceded movement wins.

Without self-advocacy, women would not have the right to vote or serve in the military, people in same-sex relationships would not have the right to marry or adopt, and there would be few protections from workplace discrimination for women, people of color, and the LGBT+ community. However, these movements could not have reached their successes without help from others outside the groups impacted.

If you want to help those with fewer rights provided to them in our legal system, use your voice to amplify the voices of those who do not have the same opportunities, whether that opportunity happens to be access to bandages or access to an equal wage. Freedom of speech is intertwined with the expansion of human rights supported by those who govern us.

Be grateful for the rights already available, and speak up for the ones that others do not have yet. By setting this precedent and activity in hand, we can set towards the ultimate goal of having all people in the world be able to speak their opinions and thoughts without being judged or punished for it.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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To Redact Or Not To Redact

That is the question. What are redactions significant and how will they influence the Mueller Report?


If you have had a pulse for the last two years, you know about the Mueller Report. Remember, from one of my previous articles? The Special Council Report into Russian Election Interference in the 2016 Presidential Elections. Ring a bell? If not, you should educate yourself because this is pretty important stuff! Check out a few of my previous articles for some context and analysis, or just Google it.

If you have been keeping up with the seemingly daily barrage of news and speculation, you would know that the Mueller Report will be released to the public shortly. As this article will not go live until after the report's publication, I will not engage in speculation. We will simply have to wait and see what we can uncover in the depths of this report.

A few weeks ago we learned that Mueller had finished his report and submitted it to Attorney General William Barr. There was some testimony as there always is. Barr seemed to side with the President in a few cases. What was that about spying? Did anybody catch that? Regardless, we know that AG Barr has the report in his hands. Hopefully, he has bothered to read it.

Over the last two weeks, we have been wondering nonstop about whether the report is going to be released in its entirety. As of now, we know that is not the case. D-Day is scheduled for April 18, 2019. All the chips will fall, all of the marbles will be counted. Or whatever you do with marbles. But why are redactions such a polarizing issue?

What even is a redaction? According to Google, redacting is the process of editing a text for publication. Here in the political world, redactions are used to keep classified information, well, classified. There are certain pieces if information that some feel should not be shared with the public. These pieces of information could include grand jury information, witness identifications, facts about ongoing investigations, or matters deemed important to national security.

Obviously, in these cases, it makes sense for AG Barr to "hide" information from the public to ensure certain aspects of safety. As a people, we expect that our rights of privacy will not be infringed upon. We expect that if we are a cooperating witness promised anonymity, we will remain anonymous. As a nation, we must ensure that our national secrets are protected. If our enemies are freely given information about our internal governmental processes or state secrets, we will be worse off in the long run. Right?

The problem with redacting the Mueller Report is that the redactions will influence the way we view the report.

This all comes down to context. Imagine that your friend came to you one day saying they had some juicy gossip about your other friend.

You, being a truth-seeking individual, ask your friend for some evidence of this juicy gossip. Your friend obliges, handing over a document with some information but a whole bunch of blacked out lines and words. What are you to do? Is it best to believe your friend because he or she handed you "evidence"? Or can you say for certain that the juicy gossip was false?

Herein lies the problem with context. As the Mueller Report is redacted, we the people lose the valuable context for the determination of facts. Sources and their credibility can no longer be examined. Facts which prove or disprove information are hidden from view. Can you really trust your friend because he or she said one thing based off of a document you can only see half of?

This is the question that really matters when it comes to the influence of redactions on the Mueller Report. What matters more? Knowing the whole truth or possibly disclosing classified material? Which option is better for our country? I could give an educated opinion on this, nor would I want to. I am definitely not qualified because I do not know what is in the full Mueller report.

The problem is, who is qualified to make that determination? There is no clear answer. Our elected officials, governing bodies, or Attorney General? Truly, this is up to you. Regardless of your opinion, you have already made your choice. You have selected your representatives. What will they do?

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