Human Rights as Mashiach: A Jewish Theology of Human Rights While religion is sometimes the enemy of human dignity, it can also be a powerful force for its protection. When John Woolman, an American Quaker born in 1720, began preaching that faithfulness to God requires abolishing slavery, he ignited a religious passion that helped facilitate the global paradigm shift that outlawed human bondage across the planet. That religious passion united humanity's moral intuition with her awe in the face of God's creation; it wove the mysterious and enthralling presence of the divine into the love that humans can know for the other. The time has come to preach global moral responsibility: God commands that we enact a "human covenant" to protect and nurture all human beings. While all doctrines may be criticized and all laws revised, the confidence that humanity has placed in human rights establishes them as the foundation of that sacred effort.