Human rights are not our invention. They don’t represent standards from which particular cultures or religions can be exempted. They are universal. They exist above the state and beyond history. They cannot be rescinded by one government any more than they can be granted by another. That’s our creed. The authors put it right at the beginning of the manifesto they wrote to declare our independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.