Were all men created equal?


“The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.” – G.K. Chesterton What I Saw In America, 1922

Many secularists and atheists forget that our entire basis for democracy – that each person should have equal voice and equal rights – is based upon the fact that God created us equally in this regard. If God did not create us and endow us with these rights, if there is no higher law, then we have nothing to base our idea of equality on. Certainly evolution and nature taken by itself says quite the opposite: That we are unequal. Some are created stronger and smarter than others. It is they who destroy, devour, and dictate as they please in this world.

But it is the submission to a higher law that Chesterton points out here which justifies a kind of equality. And what makes our U.S. constitutional law (and declaration of independence) so unique and uniquely successful. Unfortunately, this is a characteristic largely forgotten – and even rejected – by our modern day government.

6 comments Add comment

orthros February 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

Ironically, the truth that all men are *not* created equal has been lost on society as a whole.

Just as the church is hierarchial, so too the society of man, and the level of respect to be bestowed.

Of course, the underlying truth that all have merit and dignity before God should not be lost, but I have, slowly, come to the realization that true egalitarianism sounds wonderful, but is not only wrong but impossible to implement in any realistic fashion.

Lucy February 9, 2010 at 1:39 am

I’ve been grappling with this one lately also. I mean, when our kids call someone “Sir” or “Ma’am” they get corrected. “Ohh no, you don’t need to call me that. That makes me feel old.” Well I’ve got news for you, honey, you are old! Compared to a kid you are a grown up and there’s a big difference. That is if the grown ups actually did grow up, which many don’t, but the respect for age should be there just the same. My kids respond, “I just want to give you the respect you deserve.” That shuts them up. ;)

On the other hand, I just love the American Dream and so enjoy reading about so many of our Presidents who started out at the very bottom of the barrel. That would never happen in England or France, perhaps not even still today because of their class conciousness.

Balance—Virtue is a means between two extremes

A.UK February 13, 2010 at 6:15 am

This is interesting. In the UK we have a monarch who enjoys a superiority stemming from our faith. The idea that a ruler is chosen to rule by divine providence is embodied in one of the royal mottoes – “Dieu et mon droit” (God and my right).

This is the basis for leadership by inheritance, as the reasoning goes that the next in line to the throne is naturally appointed by God – who else has the power to choose someone from birth? Yet this would also offer a justification with a Christian hierarchy at odds with democracy.

Just a thought I had – I’m looking to the Bible for this one. Lucy you are right about the class issue in England by the way, perhaps it stems from the same history?

Marcel LeJeune October 5, 2010 at 10:34 am

True equality rests in who we are as human beings, not in what we do. The culture’s definition of equality is based on function and therefore is not true equality – because it excludes many.

This understanding of equality has crept into the Church through movements such as pro-abortion, women’s ordination, etc.

Matthew Warner October 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Well said, Marcel. And as a result of that mentality, we think that “social justice” comes about by providing equal opportunity for function. When instead we should be first focused on preserving the dignity of the individual despite their function/ability.

JD Atwell May 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Our Creator created Adam out of dust of the ground and blew the Breath of Life into him and he became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
This means that your mother’s belly is made of dust of the ground… so this also means that your Creator whose name is “My-Holy” formed you out of the dust of the ground in the same manner as Adam. And when you came out of your mother’s belly (the dust of the ground) he blows the breath of eternal life into you and you became a living soul just like Adam no difference at all. Created Equal and in the same way as Adam the first one…This means we all have the same warning in the form of a commandment that My-Holy gave to Adam.
If we want to live don’t eat of the knowledge of a good God and an evil Devil! Our Creator is one and we must worship him as one. Become a child of the first resurrection and the second death has no power over you stop eating of the knowledge of good and evil and you will live, keep eating of it and you will die.
This is the error of our forefathers that we keep eating of the knowledge of a good God and an evil Devil thinking we can gain life by eating of the very tree that was told to us by our Creator that if we eat of its knowledge we would die. As long as we keep eating of the knowledge of a good God and an evil Devil our own Creator’s word must keep putting us to death.
Why? Because his word can’t tell a lie and must do what was spoken by our Creator. What was spoken? Genesis 2: 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of [a] good [God] and [a] evil [Devil] you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”
Get out of her my people if you don’t want to suffer with her in her punishment….

JD Atwell and Father E-Mail jda@jdatwell.net

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