Alan Sears

In China, human rights are not recognized as fixed or unalienable. Rather, they are a benevolence to be given or taken away in response to the mindset and behavior of individual Chinese citizens. Those who are “loyal to the Communist Party” are allowed rights and citizens who aren’t loyal to the party are denied rights.

To put it another way, instead of a fundamental right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, China has a fluctuating rewards system that favors those who seek the government’s ends over individual liberty. This is a “human rights theory with Chinese characteristics.”

And this de jure intolerance of the human heart’s desire for freedom is not without de facto imitators around the globe. Ironically, these imitators are often found among those who are the first to demand tolerance for their views and ideas, and they are found in this, the freest and most tolerant country in the world.

Consider the words of Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, in “After the Ball,” a manifesto in which they wrote: “[Regarding those] who feel compelled to adhere rigidly to an authoritarian belief structure (i.e. an orthodox religion), that condemns homosexuality…our primary objective…is to cow and silence them”

Does not Kirk and Hunter’s approach toward those with whom they disagree smack of the same intolerance on display in China?

Think about the words Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum used when she wrote a law review article contending leftists “should…not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Does such a bald attack on personal choice sound Jeffersonian or is it not rather more aligned with the tyrannical heavy-handedness of China’s government?

Feldblum also asserts that “it is essential” not to “privilege moral beliefs that are religiously based over other sincerely held, core, moral beliefs.”

Again, is it just me, or is this strikingly similar to the “human rights theory with Chinese characteristics,” wherein any break with state-ordained orthodoxy is a break that must be punished?

Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has written: in China those who break from the state-ordained conditional liberty and “insist on individual political rights” are labeled as a “[threat] to economic development…and the government is right to silence them.” And here in the U.S., we witness a similar philosophical tyranny at the hands of orthodox leftists both in and out of government.


Alan Sears

Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.