31 May Find Out If You Are Treated Equally
*It is helpful to you have a decent understanding of language destruction before beginning this article. I recommend: The Plot To Make Us Idiots.
We get so much information thrown at us that we often take things for granted. We assume certain universal truths, often ones taught to us at a young age. Unless those “truths” are challenged, we operate on the assumption that they are accurate. For example, “All men are created equal” is a statement that is often accepted by both conservatives and progressives alike (at least within the USA). But is it accurate? And what does it actually mean?
Equality is one of those words that is used regularly, but often misrepresented. People frequently talk about equality. But why? Probably due to its primacy within the Declaration of Independence, which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Based on this most significant of passages, it is no wonder that the word equality gets tossed around so liberally. Of course, this raises some questions. What exactly is equality? And how do we know that we are really created equally? For example, to the founding fathers, these words literally referred to men (not women) and of course slaves didn’t count either. We need to be specific with our language. If the majority assume this statement to be true, we should seek to clarify its accuracy and specificity.
Why Do We Think We Are Equal?
Why Do We Think We Are Equal? Because, that’s what we were told by the founding fathers and have been taught by our schools, our government, and especially our media. However, even more important than the abuse of this clause (by discounting women and slaves), is the context of the clause. What exactly does it mean to be created equal and is that really true? The truth is that the context gives clear answer to the trained mind. The founding fathers were not saying that all men are entitled to identical lives and not even identical opportunity, though they would work to level the playing fields.
Ontological or Situational Equality?
Looking at the context of the Declaration, it appears that the writers were actually referring to ontological equality in the sight of God. This means that the founding fathers believed that God values people equally as beings (a point that is not being argued in this article). However, it doesn’t mean that they believed free men were situationally equal. In fact, common sense shows that all men are not situationally equal – not in any way, shape, or form.
Situational Inequality: Biological, Financial, Relational, Intellectual,
Warren Buffet says it well, “All men are created equal and that lasts about 15 minutes.” What is being said by one of the richest men in the world? We may be created equal, but our situations are all different, not equal. We don’t actually have equal rights (See article on rights). We don’t have equal access to finances, to resources, to relationships, to education, etc. In fact, not only are we not created with equal opportunity, not one aspect of any person’s life is exactly equal.
And while I agree with Buffet’s general concept, I think he is still to kind to equality. Buffet doesn’t go far enough. You may have noticed the first point on the header of this section mentions biology. If Warren’s statement were taken literally, then we would assume that we are all created with the same (equal) biological and genetic potential. Of course, this is not true either. Some are more intelligent. Some are bigger and some smaller. Some are born with disease and some with defect. No, we are not equal: not biologically, not financially, not relationally, not intellectually, etc. We are created unique, not equal.
Beauty In Inequality
Even our disability and detriment can be an opportunity for beauty. Look at someone like Nick Vujicic. A man born with several disabilities. He has no arms and no legs. Nevertheless, because of his character strength and relationship with God, he has been able to direct that disadvantage, live a blessed life, and glorified God in an incredible way. Nick is an extreme example of how our uniqueness and inequality can be beautiful. There is a reason everyone loves the underdog. We recognize the value of the fight. We recognize the beauty of someone who overcomes their inequality rather than whines about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not always an overcomer – not at all. I need work on this personally. But even in my weakness, I can recognize the value in a better way. I am also quite empathetic to those in difficult situations. The Lord knows I’ve had my own trials and I haven’t always done well facing adversity. I am also not suggesting that we should leave those with inequality to fend for themselves. In fact…
Providing For Equality: Leveling the Playing Field Through Social Contract & Rights
Although we are not created equal in any situational capacity, because of ontological equality (the value of human life in the sight of God), we can and should strive to provide aid to those who are in need. This is where social contract, rights, etc. come into play and where we discover the purpose of the back half of the Declaration’s statement, “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.”
No one is created equally – not physically, not financially, not biologically, not intellectually, etc. We are all created unequal (situationally). However, due to the value of the human life (in the sight of God), we should make reasonable effort to care for and empower the weaker among us. What should those rights be? How can we come to know what rights we should provide? How far should we go? What limits should we put on ourselves? These questions will be answered in our next article from The Daily Rebuke. Subscribe on the right to make sure that you don’t miss it!
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Are we all created equal? If so, what does that really mean? Leave a comment below and share to get your friends in on the conversation.
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For more like this, check out: The Plot To Make Us Idiots