In praise of inequality
Title grab your attention?
Because the notion of universal equality is irrational and foolish. Perhaps even sinful if done against God’s Law. In praise of inequality!!
Take just a moment and look about God’s creatures and creation: the massive inequality of it.
- That Great Dane will be fortunate if he makes it seven years before dying. But the Chihuahua will likely see over twenty years of life.
- Attempting to equalize the heights of trees would be futile and idiotic, we’d never try.
- Although we accept and delight in the astounding variations in animals, variations that make them suited to their homes, for humans,
- Significant numbers of us worship at the altar of equality, of sameness; consequently accepting mediocrity.
A hike in the woods or the mountains displays the Lord’s profligate disregard for equality. While gazing in wonder at the majestic mountain peaks and evergreens, we can learn much from what looks like random, wholly disparate beauty. We see the same in the insects, shrubbery, flowers and animals: It’s a continual song in praise of inequality.
Similarly, when traveling either physically or virtually, we see the variariation among us: of skin color, height, body type and structure, no two of us are the same. Just so are the astounding variations in the gifts each human has been given, intellectually and spiritually.
And of course, we cannot really close our eyes to His created humanity: Male and female He created them. Such that the man leaves his family and marries, mysteriously becoming one with the woman. And welcoming a third. This truth of marriage as sacrament is upheld by keepers of the faith.
The ease with which we believe lies confounds.
Man can make equal what God does not. With man’s laws and science, biologic differences can be erased.
Humanity can be perfected.
Like we’re just a bunch of cells in the womb. Today’s ease of information access opens up a world of information, much of it untrue. But history reveals that lies, if printed often enough, become truth.
Outside the San Luis Obispo abortion clinic early last year, or if you believe another lie, “Planned Parenthood,” Miguel spoke with tiny, pregnant Guadalupe about her plan to abort her baby. Miguel turned to us non-Spanish speaking women who were circled about them. And then he said,
“She says her friend told her that it’s just a clump of cells, it’s not a baby.”
Almost simultaneously, Linda dug into her pocket and brought out the image of a six-to-eight-week old perfectly formed “fetus” and showed it to Guadalupe while I grabbed hold of Guadalupe’s hand and placed in it my rosary beads. Then I took her fingers and closed them around the rosary.
She began to cry. Not long afterward, she and Miguel went to speak with her husband who waited in their car.
On the drive home, I could nearly hear the future conversations Guadaupe and her husband would have with this special child whom they nearly killed.
Most of us learned embryology in high school biology. If not, we’ve experienced the manner in which all mammals reproduce. The orderly, efficient process of a new creature beginning in the womb of the mother horse, sheep or dog and the miracle of the new creature.
And yet, people of good will allow themselves to believe that it’s only a bunch of cells. And vote for politicians who insist that killing unwanted babies up to “viability” is women’s health.
America’s obsession with equality,
is based on Jefferson’s Preamble to the Declaration of 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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
But it’s evident that the founder didn’t mean the equality that our nation seems to be pursuing at all costs; wholly ignoring the dignity of work and the dangers of idleness.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal,” he did not mean that all men were equal in all respects. In other places he wrote with conviction about the existence of a natural aristocracy among men, based upon virtue and talent. Yet, many today quote Jefferson as though he intended to state that all men ought to be made as equal as possible. This is to speak of equality of condition, a position rejected by Jefferson and all political thinkers in the Age of the American Revolution. It was rejected because even a cursory examination of human nature reveals ineradicable differences among men.
There’s an ugly and vicious underside to the recent insurgence of mantras that end up under the innocuous term of “cancel culture.”
It’s real name is envy. Envy is worse than jealousy we recall, because it isn’t just that “I want what you have,” it’s that “I don’t want you to have it at all.”
Anthony Esolen is an influential Catholic author and Dante Scholar. Until 2016, Esolen was an esteemed professor at Providence College. He and his family were victimized by social mobbing and literally driven out of the college and city by a social media driven “flash mob.”
Author Anne Henderschott well understands the ancient satanic root of envy: our first murder.
“At least one senior administrator was present at the mobbing that took place outside Esolen’s office window. In a scene reminiscent of Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People, Esolen was denigrated through chants and taunts by the angry students and faculty enablers. And although he had many student and faculty supporters on campus, most were too afraid of the angry mob to offer public support to their colleague — telling him privately that they were “with him” but could not publicly help. Some feared for their safety… .Even though Esolen, an internationally renowned Dante scholar, has many thousands of admirers of his published work, all of that was little consolation for the Esolen family when they were in the middle of a social media–driven mobbing action that persisted from November 2016 through the following spring semester, when Esolen finally was driven out of Providence.”
Inequality reigns too in our prayer life, it must.
Last Tuesday was the Feast of St. Francis de Sales. Reading the saint’s exhortations to us about the distinctly different prayer lives of monks, priests, bishops and working people, galvanized my thinking, “In Praise of Inequality.” In Introduction to the Devout Life, the saint writes that devotion to Christ is suitable for every vocation.
WHEN God created the world He commanded each tree to bear fruit after its kind; and even so He bids Christians,—the living trees of His Church,—to bring forth fruits of devotion, each one according to his kind and vocation. A different exercise of devotion is required of each—the noble, the artisan, the servant, the prince, the maiden and the wife; and furthermore such practice must be modified according to the strength, the calling, and the duties of each individual…
…if the artisan spent the day in church like a Religious, if the Religious involved himself in all manner of business on his neighbour’s behalf as a Bishop is called upon to do, would not such a devotion be ridiculous, ill-regulated, and intolerable? Nevertheless such a mistake is often made….the devotion which is true hinders nothing, but on the contrary it perfects everything; and that which runs counter to the rightful vocation of any one is, you may be sure, a spurious devotion. Aristotle says that the bee sucks honey from flowers without damaging them, leaving them as whole and fresh as it found them;—but true devotion does better still, for it not only hinders no manner of vocation or duty, but, contrariwise, it adorns and beautifies all. Throw precious stones into honey, and each will grow more brilliant according to its several colour:—and in like manner everybody fulfils his special calling better when subject to the influence of devotion:—family duties are lighter, married love truer, service to our King more faithful, every kind of occupation more acceptable and better performed where that is the guide….
Used with permission from Lin Wilder.