On October 25, 1917, in Moscow, Russia, a large group of Bolshevik extremists invaded the Russian royal palace, and set up their own government. That day, known as the October revolution, was the beginning of an “experiment” in communism that lasted 74 years, until 1991. It was the beginning of a brutal massacre with the death toll in the hundreds of millions.
The communists’ goal was to liberate the poor, eliminate the rich, and provide complete equality. In the end, the people were poor, the government was rich, and there was complete equality. Yes. Everyone was equal, because they were all starving… or dead. Everyone had equal rights, because nobody had any rights. The Russians learned that financial equality is only possible in poverty and death. Equality in other areas can be nearly impossible.
The truth is, in any prosperous society, you will find an enormous amount of inequality, because prosperity lives off inequality. And not just financial inequality. It’s our personal differences that make us so capable as a human race, and if we are only allowed to be our own unique selves, we each make a big difference in the world.
So if we’re all so different, then what did the founding fathers mean by “All men are created equal.”?
That’s a phrase you hear a lot in America, but you’d be surprised to hear how many people don’t actually know what it means.
According to Joe Biden and other politicians, it means that the government should spend trillions of dollars every year in unemployment handouts. If you ask Bernie Sanders, he’ll tell you it means medicare for all. To others, it means that everyone should be treated the same, regardless of gender, so we should do stuff like draft women, or allow men to compete in women’s sports, or use women’s bathrooms (another brilliant idea from the president), but all of these people are about as wrong as the communists were. Bob Dylan said, “All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.” Many people believe equality can only be found in death. An old proverb says “six feet of earth make all men equal”.
Here’s the deal. All men are not equal. (All women aren’t equal either.)
The key to interpreting the phrase “All men are created equal.”, is the word “created”. We were all created equal. This simply means two things:
- We are all equal in the sight of God.
- We all have the same inalienable rights given to us by God.
God kind of works like parents. I’m sure you all know from experience that parents never treat their kids equally. God doesn’t either. Have you ever wondered why your neighbor seems to get so many awesome blessings while you don’t seem to get any? It’s not because God loves them more, because he loves everyone the same, just like parents love each of their children equally (or at least try really hard to). It’s because God knows us each personally, and knows our personal challenges and needs that he treats us differently.
One of my favorite poets, Shel Silverstein, wrote this poem:
Small as a peanut, big as a giant, We’re all the same size when we turn off the light.
Rich as a sultan, poor as a mite, We’re all worth the same when we turn off the light.
Red, black, or orange, yellow or white, We all look the same when we turn off the light.
So maybe the way to make everything right, Is for God to just reach out and turn off the light.
To me, this poem simply means that when we ignore everything about everyone except the fact that they are people, that is when everyone is equal. Being equal doesn’t mean looking the same; if that happened we’d probably all be ugly. It doesn’t mean we all have the same income; if that happened, we’d all be poor.
True equality happens when people treat each other with equal respect, kindness, and love. It happens when everyone can worship freely, speak their minds, defend themselves, or get a fair trial, regardless of who they are or where they came from. What the communists didn’t realize was that one size doesn’t fit all. According to Aristotle, “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” You can’t treat everyone the same, because not everyone is the same, and when you try to pretend otherwise, you end up with problems.
It’s only when you realize this that you can even come close to having true equality.