“Right” and its associated word are crucial for the Christian message. To be made Righteous and to be justified are at the centre of the Christian message. It is associated with “rectitude” and Latin rectus- straightness, uprightness. A rector is a ruler and all these word seem to come from the root REG – to rule.
The “Just” word group seems to be associated especially with the role of a judge in his work to bring justice into a situation.
“Right” is a complex word which is used in many different ways. E.g Right handed, Right answer, It fits here just right, right vs wrong morally, politically right wing etc.
Human rights are an attempt at building a legal system without reference to God. Tony Blair speaks enthusiastically about “social justice” as if it was a well defined and clear set of principles which are universally respected. Usually this involves an attempt to put all human being on the same level to avoid any form of structure and hierarchy. Thus the basis for law on a human rights basis is democracy…the weird thing is that this idea is not applied consistently…sometimes “the people” are wrong and they need to be “educated” to understand the particular view of human rights that the leaders espouse.
It seems to me that a Christian view of “Rights” are that they are what you are entitled to by the just application of the law. They are given on the authority of the one who makes the law. Eg. The daughters of Zelophehad appeared at the door of the tabernacle to ask for their rights to an inheritance.
My rights are therefore my claims to justice according to the laws of the person who is my sovereign.