Friday, March 4

Conflating equality with identic

Once again, an insightful blog post from Colkoch has got me thinking.

Cardinal George has written an article in the Catholic New World titled "Why doesn't God love everyone equally?"  This question is penned with the assumption that God loves people in different ratios and some enjoy His favour more than others.  As passing evidence, George mentions that there are 'great saints' and 'little saints' and uses this to support the concept that recognizing the unique character of each person is to accept that people are not equal.  Contra-wise, if one says that all persons are equal, then one risks living divorced 'from real people' - denying the rich diversity of the Gifts of the Spirit.

Ignoring, for a moment, the dozen or so places where it says (both in the OT and NT) that everyone (i.e.- mankind) is made in the image and likeness of God and that we are all alike in that we have sinned.  The message of the New Covenant is one of inclusion, that the invitation to salvation is universal and does not depend on status, ethnicity, or gender (Gal. 3).

This is one of the fundamental, radical notions of Christianity which makes it theologically unique and why it was so dangerous to the Romans.

In specific, Paul speaks at length about the unity of believers...the Body of Christ.  In 1 Cor. 12, he explicitly addresses that different people have different gifts and are called to different tasks, but none are more or less important or worthy of praise than another.  Note that Paul recognizes the diversity of gifts which we have.  He does not deny that in the least, but he points out that they are all equally worthy.  There are no 'great saints' or 'little saints'.  All believers (alive or dead) are saints in communion with God and each other.

The natural world does not have discrete classes or borders.  Those divisions are invented and imposed by man.  The uniquely Christian message is one of unity and wholeness, not division and separation.  WE are the Body of Christ.  Some are hands, some are feet, some are eyes...but we are all equal.

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