All beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit
This is contrary to traditional Christian teaching, which holds that not everyone is borne free and that some have more legal rights than others..
For example, under the avowedly God-given feudal system, explicitly sanctioned by the Church, most people were born into serfdom. Again, under cannon
law ("God's Law") illegitimate children suffered numerous legal disabilities.
For women the position was even worse. For many centuries almost all females in Christendom were literally owned by their fathers, husbands or other
male relatives (if not by slave masters). It is notable that women enjoyed much greater freedom and many more legal rights in under the Greeks and
Romans in pre-Christian times, and that these rights were gradually removed by a programme of Christianisation over many centuries during the Dark
For slaves the position was worse still. The bible clearly sanctioned the idea that people could be born into slavery, and the Church sanctioned slave
owning for many centuries. The children of slaves belonged in Christian law not to their parents but to their parents' owners.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a
person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
The Christian Church has traditionally discriminated against people on most of the grounds listed here.
Specifically, it has discriminated on the grounds of race and skin colour (against non-whites), sex (against women), religion (all regions outside
specific Christian sects), political opinion (eg against socialists and communists), and social origin & property (practising nepotism and
discriminating in favour of nobles and churchmen), and birth (eg denying rights to illegitimate children.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
These rights were unknown during 1500 years of Christian hegemony, when Popes and Bishops could kill, imprison and execute their enemies without any
form of redress, and often without even the flimsiest pretence of a fair trial.
Well into recent times the Churches have promoted the death penalty, denying the right to life. Many still do.
Should you wish to read to article 30 please click below:
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
As mainstream Christians pointed out for many centuries, slavery was not merely permitted by God, it was positively enjoined by God. To oppose slavery
was therefore to oppose the will of God. Churchmen themselves owned slaves. As Clergymen pointed out the manumition of Church slaves was impossible:
these slaves belonged to God, and so only God could authorise their freedom.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Church not only used torture itself, in many European countries it reintroduced torture after it had been abolished.
A famous letter from a Pope to King Edward II of England expresses outrage that the English common law did not allow torture to be used.
It’s one of the great things about the place I work is when you get thrown stuff like this