ASUNCION, Paraguay, SEPT. 7, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Argentine lawyer Jorge Scala, an expert in bioethics, believes that the only institution that defends human rights entirely is the Catholic Church.
Scala was invited recently by the Association of Professors of the Faculty of Juridical and Diplomatic Sciences and the Thomas More Institute of the Faculty of Juridical and Diplomatic Sciences of the Catholic University of Our Lady of Asuncion, Paraguay, to speak about gender and human rights.
A bioethics professor in the master’s program at the International Free University of the Americas, Scala is author of nine books, including “Human Rights: 7 Controversial Cases in Latin America.” He shared his views with ZENIT in this interview.
Q: Is the Church perceived in Latin America as one of the major institutions in favor of human rights?
Scala: I would venture to say that the Catholic Church is the only institution that defends human rights in all their integrity. The Church is expert in humanity — because she follows Christ, perfect man, as well as perfect God — and this can be perceived by any person with a minimum of sensibility.
Other institutions defend the “human rights of some” which, therefore, are not true human rights. I am referring to Marxist, feminist, homosexual, etc., currents. For them, “human rights” are no more than a tool to obtain political and social privileges. They are not sincere, and most people see this duplicity.
Q: What did you want to put across with your talk on “Gender and Human Rights”?
Scala: Some fundamental ideas: Human rights, are the fundamental rights, proper to each human being and common to all, as we all share the same nature.
Such rights accompany the whole life of a human being, from the beginning of his existence — fertilization — until natural death. … In a word, they are the juridical reflection of human dignity.
Depending on nature, immutable per se, they are universal, that is, they must be recognized by law always and everywhere; and, ipso facto, cannot be given up by the individual, and are not disposable by the rest of society.
By saying “recognized” I wish to stress that they belong to our human condition and, by that fact, they are prior to laws and the state.
Then I analyze the cultural change that arose at the end of the ’60s: Man is no longer perceived as a free being, capable of self-determination toward the objective good, but rather conceived as equal to freedom, and the latter understood as absolute autonomy.
Said succinctly, present-day man thinks that he is freedom, in the sense of making his desires and whims his own law. This idea is enormously attractive, especially for youth, but its implementation is disastrous, as witnessed in the juridical field.
Q: Where does this conviction lead to, which states that people can convert their desires into law?
Scala: If man is absolute autonomy, human beings who are not autonomous, that is, those who cannot help themselves, are denied their juridical personality — the capacity to acquire rights.
That is why unborn persons are denied the right to life. Something similar occurs with euthanasia. And we are just beginning …
The gender ideology is a radicalization of this idea of man as absolute autonomy. It argues that sex is a biological conditioning, and that gender is the personal and social perception of one’s own sexuality. The gender could be “built” in an absolutely autonomous way, without any biological restrictiveness.
However, this means that there is neither human nature nor rules that are imposed from outside, in regard to the exercise of sexuality. Said in other words, marriage is only one more sexual option, of the same value as concubinage, homosexual unions, polygamy or pederasty.
Limits could not be imposed on the subjective genital satisfaction of anyone and, moreover, it would be the state’s obligation to foment it — “reproductive health” — which would be a “human right,” the same as abortion and homosexual unions, among other aberrations.
Gender is an ideology, denied by human and experimental sciences, which can only triumph if it is imposed in a totalitarian way. The tools to impose this ideology are the mass media, formal education and juridical norms. The paradox is that “relativist” democracy becomes, surreptitiously, the worst totalitarianism.