The idealism and the goals of the United Nations are laudable. The results, at least in recent years, have often been nothing short of a disaster. One example will suffice—the recently created U.N.’s Human Rights Council, begun a year ago this past week. This council is sadly typical of the modern collapse of the U.N. The Human Rights Council consists of 47 members, almost half of which are "unfree" or "partly free" nations, at least as ranked by Freedom House. Trying to get China, Russia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia to reach an agreement on violations of freedom in various countries is like trying to get the mafia to give up crime.
Presently there are only nine countries on the human rights "watch list." These are Burundi, North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Cambodia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan. But if Cuba is watching "the watched" then that is somewhat like the the fox watching the hen house. And at China’s request the council now insists on the "broadest possible support" of at least fifteen nations on the council to act. This means, in effect, that probes on freedom of speech and political rights are likely to amount to nothing. There has been a deafening silence from the other 190 U.N. members about these developments along with strong hints that most investigations of violators will soon end.
The council recently adopted a resolution entitled "Combating Defamation of Religions." This sounded promising. The document says that speech must "be exercised with responsibility" and limited to protect "public order, public health or morals and respect for religions and beliefs." Well and good. But there is a small problem. The only religion mentioned is Islam.
Critics of the U.S. tell us quite routinely that we who are not huge fans of the U.N. don’t really care what goes on in the world yet the U.S. is quite often one of the few nations that will actually intervene to protect human rights, though all too slowly many times. The European Union will not protect human rights so long as it has to defend Israel thus the real enemies of human rights have no real opposition politically in most of Europe. The U.S. taxpayers cover 22% of the bill for all this mess. This is why the Wall Street Journal was correct this week when it suggested we have only one real option: Stop funding the U.N. Human Rights Council. I have believed in the U.N., at least in theory, for a lifetime but the reality of the real world situation is fast making me doubt its real value for the future.
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The Abject Failure of the United Nations
We need to go even further than stopping funding of a portion of the UN. We need to insist on a drastic overhaul of the entire organization. Or just start over. Specifically…
Until we remove dictators from the organization we are only fooling ourselves if we think the UN will address issues of human rights.
Isn’t the UN the height of Modernism? It might play out well in a neutered Europe and America, but unless a form of Enlightenment Imperialism wins the day, then there is no hope for the UN. Maybe I have been influenced by bad apples, but the very notion of “human rights” and “civil rights”, especially as defined by the UN, should be philosophically alarming to the Christian.
There is no way that Elijah’s “civil rights” and “human rights” are protected under the “Combating Defamation of Religion” test that they set up. In fact, they would say they are “alarmed” at his behavior. There is no way our Gospel – Jesus Christ is Lord – can blend with the exaltation of man that he UN promotes. At its core understand of every “fact” under heaven the Christian the UN disagree.