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Rights and responsibilities

by Mark Etling on August 3, 2014

There is a necessary coupling when it comes to the issue of rights and responsibilities. It’s important to keep in mind that every right we humans possess carries with it a corresponding responsibility to fulfill and exercise that right. This means, for example:

1. My right to education carries with it the responsibility to see that I do my best to be educated.

2. My right to shelter carries with it the corresponding responsibility to take care of my home.

This topic also takes us deeply into the arena of social justice. This means that it’s not enough that my own personal rights are secured – I am obliged, in justice, to see that all my brothers and sisters also have their rights secured.

Further, social justice takes us beyond the arena of charity. Social justice involves working for, and advocating for, systems and structure in society that ensure the rights of all. This is hard work, but it’s a demand that stems from Jesus’ command to love the neighbor.


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