The Trouble With Equality - By Rev. Lloyd Gross1
THE TROUBLE WITH EQUALITY
The most destructive disease that causes the symptoms of political conflict is the desire for equality. From the time of the First Republic (1789-99) whose emphasis slowly shifted from liberty to equality, the spirit of Jacobinism has infected the political life of every Western nation. Some claim that equality is rational. I would say that the burden of proof is on them. But that unholy desire has its origin with the Archfiend himself.
The desire for equality is the sin for which hell had to be created. It began in the soul of an angel. He rebelled against the order of heaven. He wanted to be equal with the Creator. He sinned. He was the first creature ever to do so. What was his sin? In terms of the Seven Deadly Sins it was a mixture of envy and pride. Envy made him covet God's majesty. Pride, in a more naive soul would convince him that he had a right to it. In his more sophisticated soul, pride would lead him to the judgment that justice was irrelevant, that his will was the only relevant factor. The break was thorough. The Morning Star had become the Diabolos (Greek for “cast out.”)
Man's Fall into sin was his handiwork. His situation had become plain to him, that the rebellion would never work. His pride would not let him be content with that. So his next target was the Creator's human creatures. Once again a combination of envy and pride determined the form the temptation would take. He saw the woman as the more likely to fall. The existence of a prohibition in the human environment gave him an opportunity.
“You shall be like God, knowing good and evil.” To us this is obvious spin. Man was already in the image of God, and he already knew good. The net gain would be evil. But the form the Tempter gave to the spin was egalitarian. Even if neither partner seriously coveted God's majesty, there was always the order of creation in which the man's position was superior. Could it be that the woman could gain an advantage over her husband? She had not previously envied her husband. The Tempter's tactics here were well-considered. If sin gave the woman advantage, the man would then envy her advantage. There would be a two-party system in Eden.
While I do not desire to press the details of the narrative, I find it necessary to quote the dialog. The woman always uses the plural in referring to her situation. She speaks for the couple. Indeed, the image of God is the couple. In her primaeval purity there is not a trace of feminism. God has ordained patriarchal monarchy as His chosen form of public order. Her role in it is to be the helper. She is the Lady, the Mother, the one chiefly responsible for maintaining the connection. With this she is content if not blissfully happy. The Diabolos envies her and her husband.
The first sign that he is accomplishing his infernal design appears when the woman adds “neither shall you touch it,” which was not part of the divine prohibition. She has added a human work to what should have been a faith response. The Tempter responds now by attributing evil motives to God. “You shall not die...” is a blatant lie. He must make the people envy the knowledge in question. “Your eyes shall be opened...” makes it appear that God has deliberately kept them at a disadvantage. The woman is not alone. Her husband is with her. Yet he remains silent, permitting the temptation to run its course. Moses records no dialog between the couple, yet his silence on the subject is not clear evidence that there was no deliberation. Apparently both partners were tempted by envy and pride. At this point they were sinning, although until they literally violated the prohibition their position was not irretrievable. Their pride was probably the naive sort. Even though from their first awakening they were capable of writing pentameter sonnets, they were not sophisticated. Their intellectual acumen had not been bent into sophistry.
They were already like God, but they wanted to be equal. Perhaps they really thought that was possible. They saw no conflict with justice because they had never experienced a world that lacked it. They were righteous. Violating the prohibition would compromise their righteousness. But envy and pride kept them from connecting the dots. Nothing in their experience had taught them that the universe had a two-party system. So they took the fatal step, and found out.
Since then, envy and pride have united countless times to tempt mankind to evil. The siren song of equality has made everyone begrudge any advantage anyone else has, even if it isn't real. Thus feminism's war on the family falsely perceives the calling of the paterfamilias with unfair advantages. In His mercy God gave mankind the model of the patriarchal monarchy as the closest form of public order to His own Fatherhood. Of course it has imperfections because it is carried out by humans. But we do not do well to despise it. His image is still in the couple.
Yes, we are mortal now. That was an act of mercy. Only mortality has made us redeemable. God let the worst of it fall on Himself. But Death is not our master. He is the escort service to bring us whither we can enjoy the fellowship of Paradise.