Combating Inequality Joshua at


Combating Inequality

Joshua at Little Latin, Less Greek asks the following cogent question:

To what extent is it the Church’s responsibility to combat inequality? How much of this part of fallen nature should we accept? Responses—I don’t expect answers or solutions necessarily—welcome in comment box below or by e-mail.

To which I reply: "What for of 'inequality' do we refer to?" Human beings are simply not equal in all aspects of their lives and to pretend otherwise is to cultivate a deliberate ignorance in the name of a certain brand of political correctness. All human beings are equal in dignity before the eyes of God and therefore ultimately "equal," and deserving of exactly the same treatment accorded to anyone else. However, an artist is not a scientist, is not an editor, is not a home-maker, is not a (professional) thief (most of the time), etc. etc.

It is the Church's responsibility and mission to speak out loudly and boldly regarding the innate dignity of each person. Because each person is an image of Christ to do otherwise is to compromise the mission of bringing the message of Jesus to the world. The Church, and the members thereof, is required by faithfulness to its mission to constantly alert the world to the dignity and oppression of the poor, to the value and importance of respecting life, to the sins of bigotry and discrimination, and to speak out against all crimes against humanity.

The Church has the right and responsibility to expect that every person would receive a wage sufficient to support him- or herself and all dependents. What the Church should not (and to the best of my knowledge does not) do is demand that all such compensations be exactly equal. Nor does she (nor should she) claim that all trades, employments, careers, jobs, and avocations are exactly equal. Very rightly, she considers the calling to a religious life a special and highly exalted calling from God himself to an individual. She deplores occupations that cause or inculcate or accede to oppression or destruction of individual liberties or lives (that is, she isn't keen on slave overlords, pimps, murderers, thieves, and other sundry avocations). She does not say that all talents are equally worthwhile (nor did Jesus, for that matter.)

The Church is one of the main voices for equality in all things that really matter--the innate dignity of a human being and the essentially equality of all people as images of Jesus Christ. She should not be a voice for equality in incommensurable qualities, nor for equality in defiance of reason. While she would maintain that all people have a right to and education, I do not believe that she would go further to say that all can or should obtain doctorates. These are qualities and talents that contribute to the remarkable diversity of the world, but they are not essential to every person, nor do they alter the intrinsic worth of the person.

Another example, while the Church might maintain that all people are entitle to liberty and respect; she would not go so far as to insist that multiple murderers or those who menace society in overt ways should be allowed to roam free.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 19, 2002 10:38 AM.

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