Why You Shouldn’t Dismiss Mike Pompeo’s Report on Human Rights
Author: Drew Christiansen
July 23, 2020
In an America online Short Take, Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., argues that the newly released Draft Report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights is a consensus document that synthesizes America's founding documents—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its Bill of Rights—with the re-founding texts of Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction and the global human rights revolution of the twentieth century, centered on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Though it fails to address the multitude of rights treaties enacted since 1948, it persistently links freedom and equality and appears not to assign greater salience to religious liberty than to other rights and freedoms (as some feared it might). Christiansen affirms the commissioners' regard for religious freedom as a binding and soothing ingredient in the “large and diverse polity” that is the United States, concluding that American political culture would benefit if more religious activists would devote themselves to building up the kind of civic amity the commissioners envisage.