Someone like me who once lived in a totalitarian society finds it surprising and troubling that so many American churches have defined their mission as “to work for peace and justice in our world” but have neglected the defense of freedom as an essential part of their public ministry.
Liberal democracies have done virtually nothing to counter China’s human rights propaganda, by which the Chinese Communist Party ruthlessly appropriates the concept of human rights to promote its version of Marxist ideology and glamorize its hegemonic global ambitions.
Here is the bad news for Beijing, and the good news for the West. Despite genuine concerns over how an increasingly multipolar world will erode the human rights consensus, the agenda still remains a major obstacle to ideological competitors—both at home and abroad.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (UDHR) impact across the globe was beyond what Eleanor Roosevelt and its drafters could have imagined. As we look forward, the human rights agenda is in great need of reform and renewal. Perhaps a return to the spirit of 1948 and the wisdom of its original drafters can provide wisdom for the future.
In 1946 when the prospects for what would become the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) appeared dim, President Harry Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to a UN committee where she could promote universal human rights.
While the Trump administration has distanced itself from multilateralism with an “America First” approach, the Chinese communist regime has sought to promote and exploit multilateralism in pursuit of a “China First” policy, one that is at variance not only with America’s national interests, but with those of the rest of the world’s sovereign states as well.