Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Myth of Equality

One of the greatest deceptions being perpetrated upon the American people today, is the myth of equality.

Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence, and our nation's third president, penned these most powerful words:

"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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What is Jefferson really saying here? Is it not that in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," all are equal? Note he did not say that all had a right to BE happy, only a right to PURSUE happiness.

Universal equality is a seemingly noble idea, but it is an idea not rooted in truth. Here are some indisputable truths:
  • All people are created by God.
  • All people are loved by God.
  • God does not accept/reject a man (woman) on the basis of race or ethnicity.
  • In America, all people are equal under the law. (We are looking here, not at the advantage that wealth can and does sometimes bring to those who are guilty of crimes—eg: O.J. Simpson and others like him who sometimes succeed in purchasing their exoneration. We are looking strictly at what the law says, and what the law attempts to achieve.)
Here are some of my beliefs about equality, submitted for your consideration:

  • The Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome.
  • Not all people are equal in looks, talents, abilities, skills, or giftings.
  • Not all people are born into an equal station in life.
  • Religions are not equal.
  • Ideas about God and man are not equal.
  • Cultures are not equal.
  • Jobs are not equal.
  • Some families are better than others.
  • Some geographic regions of the earth are more inhabitable than others.
  • Some nations enjoy better governments than others.

This list could go on. Hopefully, I have communicated the basic idea.

Let's look at some ideas from Scripture:

"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." (Romans 9:13 NIV). Wait, I thought God loved everybody? But here God is saying that he HATED Esau. In this passage, the Greek word for "hate" is misevw, meaning "to hate, pursue with hatred, detest to be hated, detested."1. It is used numerous other places in the New Testament, and means "hate" in each case.

"There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." (1 Cor. 15:41 KJV).

Why are some trees large, and others small? Why do some insects only live for a day, and other creatures live well past 100 years? Why are some men bald, and others, not?

Did God not choose Abraham? Why didn't he choose someone from another part of the world—a Chinese man, maybe?

Did God not choose the ground of Israel to be the place where his people would dwell? Why didn't he choose Russia, or Africa, or some other part of the globe?

All things are not equal.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will." (Ephesians 1:3-5)

Why are some chosen, and others, not?

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16 KJV)

We live in a culture that has foolishly cast off the idea of winners and losers. While sports programs at the college and professional level still allow for losers, many of the local, community-based, youth athletic programs have set aside the idea.

When I was ten, my youth baseball team won the championship game. I received a trophy. A generation later, my daughters' youth softball team regularly placed second, third, or fourth. They never won. Yet they have trophies. And their second, third, and fourth place trophies are much bigger than my championship trophy from a generation earlier.

Fred Rogers, the PBS icon who taught and entertained millions of children for many, many years, is known for telling his young viewers, "you are special." But if everyone is "special," then what becomes of "ordinary?"

Because of America's tarnished history with slavery and the mistreatment of American Indians, we labor still under a burden of guilt. Because in generations past, some were deprived of opportunity for reasons of race, creed, or color, all now are somehow expected to be equal, not only in opportunity, but in outcome. But it simply cannot be.

Jesus instructed us (his people, not the civil government by the way) to care for the poor. But he also made it clear, that there would always be poor among us.

We do not, nor will we ever live in a utopian society, a place where all is fair, where everybody wins, and no one does without. Some will always have more than you, others will always have less. Some will be better looking, and others uglier. Some countries will always be better to live in than others. Why even in heaven, there will be a portioning out of rewards based upon God's reward system.

Our role, as God's people, is to do the best we can to help our fellow man along the way. It is NOT our job to make everything equal.

1. from the online KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon


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