When the authors of the Declaration of Independence observed that "all men are created equal," to whom were they referring? Were they referencing the entire human race, or targeting Americans with their words? A careful reading of the Declaration itself, with supplemental study of U.S. history, reveals that their comments applied to Americans, who, in 1776, were overwhelmingly Caucasian Christians of European ancestry. The Founders did not live inside a cultural or racial hodgepodge, nor did such an amalgamation exist on these shores until after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (the Hart-Celler Act) brought profound and deliberate demographic change to the United States.
I make mention of the above because most people in politics, the media, or academia who speak about equality, today, ignore the fact that our country has weathered an existential transformation since Thomas Jefferson penned the words, "all men are created equal."
The Left's successful march through our cultural institutions has ensured an interpretation of equality more in line with that of Marxism than Christianity. The powers that be have shrugged off the raiment emblazoned with the words "Spirit of 1776," and wrapped themselves in a French mantle adorned with the logo, "Spirit of 1789."
Notwithstanding these observations, a certain select framework exists wherein it may be said truly that all men are equal. Following is a list of items falling within that field. Keep in mind that I am a Bible-believing Christian with views of reality and history informed by the Holy scriptures.
1. Humans are created beings. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; -- Genesis 5:1
2. All of humanity has the same Creator -- the God of the Bible, the One True God. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. -- Genesis 5:2
3. God created every single one of us in His Image. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. -- Genesis 1:27
4. All of Mankind is born with a sin nature, fallen from Grace. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; -- Romans 3:23
5. Everyone is in need of redemption from sin. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: -- Romans 5:12
6. God has provided a plan of redemption and a redeemer -- redemption in His gift of salvation and resurrection and eternal life; a redeemer in the person of Jesus Christ, who was and is God in the flesh, and the Son of God in His relationship and position within the Holy Trinity. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. -- John 14:6
7. No one can come to Jesus without being called by God, first. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. -- John 6:44
8. God's offer of redemption is open to all people. The Lord is not slack
concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is
longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that
all should come to repentance. -- 2 Peter 3:9 (see also 1 Timothy 2:4)
9. All men face eventual judgment from God, for good or ill. Because he hath
appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness
by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto
all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead -- Acts 17:31 (see also Ecclesiastes 12:14)
10. Race, sex, state of servitude, the question of Jew versus Gentile: none of these elements matter, in terms of the security and legitimacy of one's membership in the family of Jesus Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. -- Galatians 3:28
Apart from these metaphysical basics, all men share specific material or emotional/psychological necessities:
16. Love and affection
Perhaps other categories pertain in which all people are equal. If so, they escape me at the moment. But, with the noted exceptions, human beings could not be more different, or more unequal. Examples follow.
9. Work ethic
11. Charity or kindness
14. Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.)
15. Learned skills
16. Spiritual or temporal gifts or talents
17. Eternal destination
These just off the top of my head. One could wax eloquent all the live-long day listing ways in which people differ from each other by a wide margin. But where is the equality in that?
Genuine equality exists within a narrow corridor. Beyond this limited scope, humans vary as much -- if not more -- than dog breeds.
Here are some questions for reflection:
Is a man of an 85 I.Q. the intellectual equal of a man with an I.Q. of 105?
Is a man who bench presses one hundred pounds with difficulty the pectoral equal of a man who bench presses two hundred pounds with ease?
Are men and women equals in physical traits?
Is a fat white guy the equal of an East African Olympian at long-distance running?
Is a man who works two jobs, saves money, and never lives beyond his means economically equal to a man who is unemployed, lets money burn a hole in his pocket, and is up to his eyeballs in debt?
Is someone with a scalding-hot temper the temperamental equal to someone who is relaxed and patient?
The answers are obvious to any thinking person. Here's one more:
Is a man who rejects Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior the spiritual equal of a man who bows the knee and says, "Thy will be done."?
Again, the answer is self-evident to anyone who knows what the Bible teaches.
Most people group themselves under one of two headings: those who spurn the concept of equality in its entirety, and those who embrace the idea of equality in its multifaceted totality. My contention is that both views are incorrect. In actuality, the truth lies somewhere between these two polar extremes: yes, in some regards, people are equal; and in others, they are as unequal as Rembrandt and an individual whose artistic labors never rise above the level of stick figures.
Observation of this demonstrable truth is not bigotry, and willful blindness to it is not true tolerance.