Equality Run Amok

Robespierre executed 1794

It is not news to sober-minded observers that for the last half-century, equality in the U.S. has gone off the rails—politically, legally, morally, and culturally. Tocqueville had foreseen the eclipsing of liberty by the desire for equality in democratic republics like ours, and nowadays we see it vividly and routinely. Not only is the liberty of people who are expected to respect even dubious claims of others’ equality compromised, so is the liberty and well-being of those who in the name of equality are supposedly being helped.

We see that the U.S. Department of Education is now demanding that disabled students be permitted to compete on school sports teams. An increasing number of commentators call for women to be able to compete on the full range of sports teams with men, including ice hockey and football, at all levels. A recent news story tells about the marriage of a mentally retarded couple and a brewing lawsuit because their respective group homes won’t allow them to live in the same room together. We see the aggressive current push for same-sex “marriage.” We so fear “profiling” that we screen everyone as a possible perpetrator of heinous crimes instead of focusing attention especially on the most likely people. So, everyone at airports is subjected to outrageous, invasive body scans instead of careful examination of the backgrounds of those from Islamic countries (a là the Israelis’ type of screening). Our child protective system seeks a universal monitoring of all parents as potential abusers instead of paying attention to the broken families and cohabitation situations where abuse disproportionately occurs. The result of these attitudes is that too often the real terrorists and child abusers go unnoticed until a calamity happens.

This is only a small taste of how a convoluted—indeed, almost irrational—notion of equality continues to corrupt American life. It has consequences that are sometimes dramatic and destructive but, more typically, slowly damaging of a sensible, decent way of life (even, as said, for the people that this expansive standard of equality claims to help) and of the institutions needed to sustain it.

Some of the examples given illustrate how the current push for equality is actually an assault on nature. It also reflects further how rights have become, for many, little more than the satisfaction of wants and an attempt to justify something akin to envy. Not everyone can be an athlete, much less a successful one. Instead of motivating disabled students to achieve to the degree they are capable of in the areas they can—which is the standard stressed in John Paul II’s social encyclical, Laborem Exercens (#22)—we pretend there are no differences between them and other students, afford them undue advantages, alter the usual rules of the sport, and in the end leave them nothing more than pyrrhic success and disillusionment. (I speak, by the way, as the father of a disabled child.) When we call for co-ed sports, we pretend that high school or college-age females are no different in bodily strength or psychological make-up than males—to say nothing about whether the physical contact between the sexes in football, ice hockey, or wrestling would not be morally objectionable and could become one more thing debasing women and coarsening male-female relations. The notion of an absolute “civil right to marriage” and a mindless claim to “marriage equality” means that the mentally retarded must be allowed to marry. This is so whether or not they understand its meaning and purpose, are capable of undertaking its obligations, or truly consent to it or to sexual congress—and even if the result will be that they will bring misery on themselves. It hardly needs to be explained about how same-sex “marriage” is an assault on nature at its most fundamental level. It pretends that men and women are interchangeable, that biology and reproduction are irrelevant to the institution of marriage, and that normal sexual acts are the same as sodomy. A similar dynamic has long been at work in feminist pro-abortion thinking. Legalized abortion is needed to “equalize” men and women, to somehow overcome the reality of nature that only women can become pregnant.

The push for a self-serving and even maniacal notion of equality perhaps is seen even more vividly in such episodes as the homosexualist movement’s long-time insistence that active homosexual males be permitted to give blood (in spite of their high HIV infection rate) and the court cases, pushed by disability rights advocates, in which hearing-impaired nurses claimed a right to a job even though their inability to hear could result in patients’ lives being put in peril. These episodes show that some are literally ready to sacrifice people at the altar of the “new equality.” They also demonstrate, in stark relief, how the clamoring for equality frequently leads to some groups becoming “more equal” than others, not subject to the same rules and restraints that the rest of us are.

Dr. Samuel Johnson once said, “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” He meant, of course, that there are some who will try to cast any disagreement with government policy as somehow disloyal or unpatriotic. Something similar can be said about equality. So we witness spokesmen from the “civil rights establishment,” such as Julian Bond, calling TEA Party groups racist—that is, against racial equality—because they support limited government and restraining federal spending. Even worse, a distorted notion of equality is sometimes used to justify the miscreant. One thinks of prominent social psychologist Kenneth Clark, whose work was so influential in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case, famously justifying interracial muggings of Caucasians as “an act of social protest.”

The “new equality” is very different from the way America’s Founding Era thought about the subject. That involved: equal application of the laws; equal legal rights of citizens; equal justice for all; an acknowledgement of natural differences in talent, disposition, and virtue; and also equal opportunity (the lowest man being able to climb to the top if he had the talent). Its view of equality did not even seek to undo existing social hierarchies, much less countenance an assault upon natural ones. Natural differences meant a natural aristocracy, which our leading Founding Fathers, such as Adams and Jefferson, stressed was needed in any kind of political order. Indeed, our original natural aristocracy was made up of the Founders themselves.

It goes without saying that our Founding Era could not have even imagined such grotesqueries as same-sex “marriage,” much less believing that their notion of equality had any room for it. For that matter, they did not even embrace a notion of political equality such as we see today. Even the vote was treated more as a political privilege than a right—much like the view of it in traditional social ethics—and one had to have property or some attachment to the community to be granted it. Now it is virtually a birthright and one doesn’t even have to take the responsibility to go to the polls to exercise it. So we have many “low-information” voters who are ripe for manipulation without even realizing it.

The “new equality” is obviously at odds with the Church. God made men and women equal, but different. Laborem Exercens says that women have an “irreplaceable” role as mothers, and this must be accorded social importance (#19). By saying that women should not be excluded from work that they are capable of undertaking “in accordance with their own nature” (#19), it indicates also that there are also other endeavors besides certain kinds of work that would not be suitable for them either. Men and women are not interchangeable. Beyond this, it is striking how close the Church’s teaching on equality parallels that of America’s Founders (see Leo XIII’s encyclical On Socialism): equal dignity, equal basic rights, no right to equal wealth, equal opportunity but not equal results, even the fact that there are rightfully gradations in political society.

By contrast, the effect of the “new equality” reminds one of the passage in Cicero’s De re Publica where Scipio (the main character) talks about the anarchy that prevails in runaway democracy, where no distinctions are made between anyone. The irony is that for him this condition occurred because of excessive liberty, but now it comes from blind equality and results in the thwarting of liberty.

Editor’s note: The caption on the above engraving reads “Execution of Robespierre, Saint Just and others 28 July 1794.” Radical egalitarian perpetrators of the “Reign of Terror” during the French Revolution receive their comeuppance. Engraved by Jonnard after H. Renaud.

Stephen M. Krason

By

Stephen M. Krason's "Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic" column appears monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) in Crisis Magazine. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville and co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. His is the author of several books including The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and most recently an edited volume entitled, Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013).

  • John O’Neill

    One need only to re read the history of the French Revolution, a movement which deified equality, to find out what It is really about. Those who purport to be all for equality are actually all for hate and violence. The French Jacobins conducted atrocious mass executions of people for whom they held deep hatred, either through envy or religious bigotry. The slaughter of the Catholics in the Vendee is never really revealed in American history classes because the Americans always thought that the Catholics deserved to be murdered. In America today many victims of crime are ignored because the Americans through their equality lenses believe that they deserve what they get. Equality in practice in America today is the battle cry of the totalitarians who wish to level everything so that they can have the privilege of rebuilding society to their image. As Orwell so succinctly put it in Animal Farm; ” all animals are equal but some are just more equal”.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      The great Catholic historian, Hilaire Belloc understood that history very well, when he wrote

      ““The scorn which was in those days universally felt for that pride which associates itself with things not inherent to a man (notably and most absurdly with capricious differences of wealth) never ran higher; and the passionate sense of justice which springs from this profound and fundamental social dogma of equality, as it moved France during the Revolution to frenzy, so also moved it to creation.

      Those who ask how it was that a group of men sustaining all the weight of civil conflict within and of universal war without, yet made time enough in twenty years to frame the codes which govern modern Europe, to lay down the foundations of universal education, of a strictly impersonal scheme of administration, and even in detail to remodel the material face of society—in a word, to make modern Europe—must be content for their reply to learn that the Republican Energy had for its flame and excitant this vision: a sense almost physical of the equality of man.”

      • tamsin

        equality of outcomes for men, or equality of opportunities for men?

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen says that the law “must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.” and that “Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.”

        • musicacre

          All his books are great!

    • Alecto

      “…Americans always thought that the Catholics deserved to be murdered.”

      When John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, the U.S. was on the brink of war with France. It cost him his friendship with Jefferson. Americans were deeply concerned that the anarchy and bloodshed in France would spill over to the U.S. given the presence of so many Europeans here. Of course American Protestants feared and hated French Catholics, look what Catholics did to the Huguenots. There was plenty of persecution to go around in the Old Country, which is why so many, both Protestant and Catholic came here. Despite the establishment of pockets of religious freedom in colonies like Maryland, Protestants feared Catholic tyranny. You would be wise to consider the context before making outrageous statements that Americans wanted Catholics murdered. Could the same be said of French Catholics regarding the Huguenots a century prior? Those wounds fester and they become rank. There’s Catholic, and then there are Catholics. Being Catholic does not confer automatic sainthood.

      Where is your evidence for wild accusations that “victims of crime are ignored because Americans…believe that they deserve what they get.” I am no fan of secular progressives, but I have no illusions about the Catholic hierarchy and its nefarious actions since Vatican II. It certainly has contributed to the uncontrolled growth of progressive thinking in this country by keeping silent on the important issues if nothing else.

    • musicacre

      Well-stated. Once the mass murders of the French Revolution were at a frenzy level- much the same as sharks in the water smelling blood- it took nothing less than the voluntary sacrifice of a group of holy Nuns to bring the diabolical to a standstill. The Martyrs of Compeingne. (Not sure if I spelled this right. It’s definitely not on spell-check:)

    • Victress Jenkins

      So true!! Right now it seems that the Catholics here aren’t paying much attention to the plight of their fellow Catholics in Syria. [Those Catholics are being targeted as "infidels"]

  • AcceptingReality

    Thanks for a solid portrayal of the realities about equality….A couple of the priests that say Mass regularly at our parish push equality as if it was a Catholic value. “Jesus was inclusive not exclusive” they say, “He was all about equality.” Most of the Catholics in the pews accept it unquestionably because “equality” seems an extension of Christian kindness. Neither they nor the priests who serve them are deep enough thinkers to see the reality of the situation.

    • Dan

      I am curious if the priests who run your parish are Paulist or Jesuit. LOL

  • Gail Finke

    This morning an ABC news story about a supposed Navy SEAL who now wants to be a woman had almost 1000 likes on Facebook and hundreds of comments — almost all of them from people saying “she should do whatever makes her happy, all anyone wants is to be happy.” Anyone who said anything against this man’s sad fantasies was attacked for “hate.” The idea that “everyone just wants to be happy and should do whatever makes him happy” is such a debased idea of both equality and happiness! And the strange idea that no one can judge what makes another person happy, when many people are obviously made happy by being cruel, by cheating and stealing, and otherwise by things that break laws and defy morals and hurt others, is mystifying.

    • crakpot

      St. Thomas Aquinas properly defined “happiness” as the conscious possession of that which is good. Happiness can not include sin.

      • bintalshamsa

        If happiness can not include sin, then none can ever be happy for all sin and come short of the glory of God. The problem with St. Thomas Aquinas’ statement is that it doesn’t define what should be viewed as good. In the views of the world, seeking pleasure is good. Ergo carrying out whatever they want to do is defined as happiness.

        We must get to the root of issues in order to address them.

        • John200

          Yes, we must get to the root of issues in order to address them. St. Thomas Aquinas defined what is good. Sorry, I could not figure out a truly gentle way to point this out.

          His definition of “happiness” also had a context. We can take that up another time.

        • musicacre

          “…The problem with St. Thomas Aquinas’ statement…”

          He’s only a canonized saint with writings that still keep modern-day geniuses in awe. I have have a Catholic friend who teaches philosophy, (has his PHd. ) and wouldn’t so breezily dismiss or even compare himself to St. Thomas. Your kind of reasoning is not reasoning, just self-serving gratification.

    • msmischief

      One notes that such surgery does not make them happy. A control group of people who had not had it were just as happy as a group that had, even though the latter group claimed it had made them happy.

      • bintalshamsa

        That only shows that those who don’t want the surgery and don’t have it are as happy as those who do want the surgery and have it. The only way this study would have merit is if it tested those who wanted it but didn’t get it against those who wanted the surgery and had it.

  • poetcomic1 .

    And yet it is the French, eldest daughter of the Church, who filled the streets against ‘gay marriage’ and intuited that ‘rent-a-womb’ test-tube technologies will render ambiguous such irreducibly human terms as ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and ‘family’. Americans with their Cult of Nice and their Church of Nice don’t see this diabolic assault on humanity for what it is.

  • Alecto

    And yet, today the Washington Post ran a story about the epidemic of suicide among Boomers. This is also plaguing our veterans. Equality is a lie, and it leads to false hope, not the hope we should all have in Christ and concern we owe to one another. For all the talk of happiness, few are, because Americans no longer understand what constitutes lasting happiness.

    Catholics forfeited any right to complain when they entangled the Church in the progressive machine. Church leadership has put us in the unconscionable position of being one of those institutions which sustains the entire mess. Signing contracts worth millions of dollars to provide any kind of social assistance on the condition we wouldn’t mention religion is a repudiation of the faith. It’s an insult to Christ and his Church and we are experiencing the consequences for that betrayal. A good place to start reclaiming Catholic identity is to practice on an institutional level what we continue to hear at mass, “We are in the world, but not of it”. No federal contract is worth denying Christ.

    • patricia m.

      Boomers are killing themselves because they rejected Christ a long time ago (I’m talking boomers as a generation, am not specific to people here). They took the pill, they divorced 3, 4 times, they thought their lives would be sex drugs and rock and roll forever. They are a lost generation.

      • Carl Albert

        and… while certainly not a psychiatrist, or an epidemiologist, I often wonder if American obesity rates are the principal corollary of the pursuit of absolute moral relativism.

        • patricia m.

          American obesity rates are the result of a life devoted to “happiness”. I eat, therefore I am happy. Americans’ goal in life is to be happy. Gluttony a sin? To ask for temperance? It’s normal (and disgusting at the same time) to hear people say they are “stuffing their faces” on food.

  • publiusnj

    The most perversee form of equality run amok is the new desideratum of a ground pounding GI Jane. Now that Leon Panetta has opened up combat to women–at least to those who want combat; when, though, will women be equally subject to draft registration?–the Services’ martial cultures need to be tamed so that women can serve comforably and redecorate those helplessly male cultures. So, the latest liberal cause is a laser focus on male sexual assaults on women. Right on cue, this Sunday’s CBS Sunday Morning Show (the one on before Bob Schieffer) had an historical segment exploring the purportedly deplorable behavior of the US Army soldiers in WWII France who went to Paris for sex with prostitutes and, at times when they were in the field, raped French women (although the reporter admitted that the US Army had far lower rates of such conduct than most conquering armies). The white, primarily Christian and heterosexual, “boys” who stormed Normandy now need to be taken down systematically from their pedestal as “The Greatest Generation” because nobody would believe a revisionist history that the boys fought Hitler so their grand daughters could die on the battlefield just as bloodily as some of them did.

  • Jambe d’Argent

    The fundamental error of understanding equality as sameness comes from the general ignorance of philosophical (and especially metaphysical) principles in our progressively more ignorant society. It is also motivated by the cult of unqualified niceness. This recent attempt at realizing an utopia will most certainly go the way of the previous utopias and will end in bloodshed and anarchy. It seems that social experimenters never learn from history.

    • Carl Albert

      so very true – what of the moral hazard caused by all of this “equality”? how do we think it’s going to be received once the music stops – and the bill becomes due? we are assembling the armies of the class war currently in America, and the first battle will occur at a time not of our choosing. if we elect as a Body to seek relevance over reason, we will suffer fates akin to the fathers of the Church. but… will we share their preparedness?

      • bintalshamsa

        “The first battle”? Surely you jest! What do you think the Civil War was? America has been doomed to fight class wars ever since Europeans came here and introduced a class based system. Committing the genocide of Indigenous Americans–even Catholic Indigenous Americans–was proclaimed acceptable because we were “lesser”. Kidnapping, trafficking, enslaving, sexually assaulting, and even killing Africans–including Catholic Africans–was proclaimed acceptable because we were “lesser”. Now that many of the racial majority are included in the group of “lesser” folks, they have also found it necessary to fight against those who would proclaim themselves their “betters”.

        That’s just what results from following in the footsteps of folks who saw no reason to acknowledge the rights of others. We can keep this class based system, but history shows that those on the top never stay there and find very little sympathy when the families of the abused, neglected, and slain decide to come for them. It happened to plantation owners. When the rapist slavers were burning in their mansions, you didn’t see many of the enslaved folks risking their lives to come to their rescue, did you? Sadly, many Americans don’t study history, so they are doomed to repeat it. Fortunately, some Catholics have decided to abstain from being followers of men and instead speak and act as followers of God.

        • Carl Albert

          the author specifically oriented the piece toward the “equality” movements of the last 50 years. so, no… I didn’t consider the Civil War as “battle of the classes” in my comments.

          • bintalshamsa

            Actually, he didn’t. He mentioned the Founding Fathers and, though I’ve been out of school for a few years, I’m quite sure that they were long dead even fifty years ago.

            • Carl Albert

              “It is not news to sober-minded observers that for the last half-century, equality in the U.S. has gone off the rails—politically, legally, morally, and culturally.” this is the opening statement of the article above, and the central theme of the piece.

              • bintalshamsa

                “The ‘new equality’ is very different from the way America’s Founding Era thought about the subject.”

                “Natural differences meant a natural aristocracy, which our leading Founding Fathers, such as Adams and Jefferson, stressed was needed in any kind of political order.”

                “Indeed, our original natural aristocracy was made up of the Founders themselves.”

                “It goes without saying that our Founding Era could not have even imagined such grotesqueries as same-sex “marriage,” much less believing that their notion of equality had any room for it.”

                “By contrast, the effect of the “new equality” reminds one of the passage in Cicero’s De re Publica where Scipio (the main character) talks about the anarchy that prevails in runaway democracy, where no distinctions are made between anyone.”

                This makes up the body of the piece and also forms the writer’s conclusion. Did you even read past the opening statement?

                • Carl Albert

                  at this point, I struggle to determine what value – precisely – you are seeking to add here. I’m sorry you don’t agree with the comprehension that our writer is comparing and contrasting the accelerated modern “equality” of our nation’s recent history with its founding. is it just an argument you are seeking?

                  • bintalshamsa

                    I’m sorry you don’t comprehend that Scipio lived a lot longer than fifty years ago and that even fifty years ago this nation’s found fathers had been long dead for centuries. Is this something you really think can be argued? I struggle to determine why you are so upset by the truth about when these folks existed. What–precisely–is so difficult about facing these facts?

  • cestusdei

    We have always had to balance freedom and equality. Now we have apparently decided to diminish liberty in favor of equality and a libertine society. The center cannot hold much longer.

    • crakpot

      There is no “balance” between liberty and equality, if the two are properly understood. We are equal in our rights, one of which is freedom from unjust power, not to do whatever we want, but to do as one ought. In the same way, I have never bought the image of the blind scales of justice, as if we come to the truth or the determination of what is just by blindly giving equal weight to the arguments of the truthful and the liar, or equal weight to the rights of the perpetrator and the victim.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        I would suggest there is a balance between liberty and equality. Government must not be arbitrary, but it must be powerful enough to repress arbitrary action in others. If the supreme power is needlessly limited, the secondary powers will run riot and oppress. Its supremacy will bear no check.

        The great Catholic historian, Lord Acton notes that “The substance of the ideas of 1789 is not the limitation of the sovereign power, but the abrogation of intermediate powers. These powers, and the classes which enjoyed them, come in Latin Europe from a barbarian origin; and the movement which calls itself liberal is essentially national. If liberty were its object, its means would be the establishment of great independent authorities not derived from the State, and its model would be England. But its object is equality; and it seeks, like France in 1789, to cast out the elements of inequality which were introduced by the Teutonic race [the Franks].“

    • tedseeber

      I thought a libertine society (either fiscal or liberal) was demanding *liberty*, not equality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/briana.grzybowski.3 Briana Grzybowski

    I agree with most of the article, but I’m not sure how I feel about the racial profiling against Muslims bit. To do that, you’d have to make the claim that a person’s ethnicity or their religion or lack of it somehow makes a person more susceptible to violence. But Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dorhn, and all the people involved in the Weather Underground were white, and Ayers was an atheist. Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols were white. The Unabomber was white. The guy behind the Sikh temple shooting was white. So let’s not pin terrorism on just one group of people. I generally tend to lean conservative in political matters, but this is one issue where I take another side.

    • patricia m.

      So you deny that Muslims are indeed more susceptible to violence? Let’s drink from the Religion of Peace kool aid, yes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/briana.grzybowski.3 Briana Grzybowski

        I’m saying that people of any ethnicity or religion or lack of faith are capable of causing trouble. Notice I mentioned that Bill Ayers is an atheist. Tim McVeigh was raised Catholic but identified himself as an agnostic shortly before his death. The Unabomber was an atheist….

        • patricia m.

          They are exceptions to the rule… I could start naming all the Islamic terrorists (people and groups) here, but seriously, I won’t because you know perfectly well.

          • http://www.facebook.com/briana.grzybowski.3 Briana Grzybowski

            You don’t seem to grasp what I am saying. I am not denying that Islamic extremism and terrorism are problems. But I am saying that terrorists come in many different stripes, and NOT ONLY Islam.

            • musicacre

              For that matter you could get into the very difficult issue of false flags, which is probably all-white state-sponsored terrorism.

          • bintalshamsa

            For every Islamic terrorist (person or groups) you could name, I could name just as many Christian terrorists (people and groups) here. If you know anything about American history and current threat risk assessments, you’d know perfectly well why it isn’t Muslims who represent the biggest threat to us. When was the last time some Muslims destroyed a church in America? When was the last time a Christian was caught planning to blow up a government building or murder the President? The latter happens so much that it barely makes the news any more.

            Before we complain about OTHER groups, Christians need to start cleansing our own temples. At least, that’s what the Bible says (which is why I believe it).

            • Steven Jonathan

              Bintalshamsa,

              Really? For the last 17,000 muslim terrorists attacks since 9-11 you can name a Christian terrorist? That must be quite a catelogue of Christian terrorists you possess. I would like to see you do that.

              • bintalshamsa

                You start listing them and I’ll be glad to do the same.

          • tedseeber

            For every violent sect of Islam, there are five non-violent sects. Islam isn’t as monolithic as you claim.

      • bintalshamsa

        Well, if you want to start figuring out which religion’s adherents are more susceptible to violence, there’s no way of getting around the fact that Christians perpetrate more violence than those of any other religion. Heck, the majority of Christians who are killed are killed by other Christians. We kill more of our own than the Muslims do.

        • tedseeber

          Only if you include pro-choice Planned Parenthood types.

          • bintalshamsa

            Nope. That’s even without including any of the millions of abortions that Christians have had.

            • tedseeber

              Perhaps then you aren’t including the Muwahiddun?

              • bintalshamsa

                The majority of Christians aren’t killed by Muwahiddun. They’re mostly killed by other Christians.

                • tedseeber

                  The majority of Islamic-on-Islamic violence comes from the Muwahiddun, though.

                • Nasicacato

                  Kidnapping, trafficking, enslaving, sexually assaulting, and even killing Africans is ongoing and proclaimed acceptable in the Muslim world right now. Although Christians often kill Christians today the number of these murders committed with a religious motivation is miniscule. On the other hand, the Koran specifically endorses murder and invasion of other lands to spread the faith. Almost every Muslim land is a stolen land. Ask the Copts in Egypt. Ask the Nigerians. Read the Koran.

        • Nvalid

          That’s not surprising considering how self-identified Christians still make up a good portion of the global population, which could likewise explain the quantity of violence brought about by Christians. If you mean that Christians per person have a much higher rate of violence than any other religious group today (as in at this point in time, not prior generations), I find it somewhat hard to believe.

          What I know for a fact, however, is that Middle eastern Christians are currently being actively and violently persecuted. There are tragedies in our own communities, but these acts are more heinous than any current Christian violence (outside of abortion), if only because of its defense as a religious act.

          There is a difference between the drug wars (if that counts as Christian violence) and the violence perpetrated in the Middle East due to religious defense and purpose. If you can site contemporary violent religious Christian groups (who use Christianity as a defense), I would love to read about them.

          As to the original question, I agree that there is danger if we focus on only a certain group of people in profiling, as in racial profiling. However, profiling to some degree is necessary. How often do women commit acts of terror, or the elderly? There are always exceptions, but the policy of completely random screening is hardly efficient, is it?

          • bintalshamsa

            It’s quite true that Christians in the Middle East are being actively and violently persecuted. Palestinian Christians are suffering HORRIBLE abuse at the hands of the occupiers in the state of Israel. However, most Christians in the USA couldn’t care less. The Christians in the Middle East are often treated better by the Muslims than they are by their own brethren around the world. It is the Muslims who speak out against Israeli Jews spitting on priests and nuns just trying to get to church. It is the Muslims who wish Christians “Merry Christmas” and celebrate it as a holiday with them. It is the Muslims who spoke out against the way that the Israeli army refused to allow Christians into the most sacred church in the entire Middle East–on EASTER! The Muslims see it as their religious duty to protect these Christians who thrived here for centuries until the occupation started and they began to be expelled and persecuted. Of course, these are all things that American Christians just ignore. They don’t even understand why Middle Eastern Christians side with the Muslims and march with the Muslims against the horrible terrorism perpetrated by the Israeli occupiers. So, I’m very glad to hear that you are not one of them. You actually care about what is being done to Middle Eastern Christians. I hope that you will make your concerns known and continue to speak out against this horrendous treatment of Palestinians.

            There’s no difference between Christians killing people because they won’t give them drug money and killing people because they won’t switch religions. The victims are just as dead either way. If you think that abortion is heinous, then what is the justification for claiming that some murders are not so bad? The sanctity of life principle demands that all killings be viewed as equally unacceptable. If you believe that certain justifications (e.g. drugs, domestic violence, bank robbery) make a murder not-so-bad then you’re making the same argument as those who say that abortion is justifiable even if it has the same results as when you stab or shoot a person because you don’t like their religion.

            If profiling is considered essential, then it’s up to the profilers to decide who represents a serious risk. I don’t want to be killed by a woman who’s a terrorist or an elderly person who is a terrorist. And who says this profiling is random? Being a woman doesn’t mean you can’t carry a bomb. Being someone’s grandfather doesn’t mean you can’t carry a bomb. So, it makes sense to profile anyone who could be carrying one. If you’re in a coma or you’re being rushed to a hospital to receive a heart transplant, you’re probably not going to be able to carry a bomb and you probably won’t have to deal with being profiled. Everyone else should either accept that they may be profiled or get rid of the profiling altogether. Personally, I think that profiling is highly inefficient, but if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it to all those who pose a risk. Shouldn’t we? I mean, do you think that the terrorists wouldn’t be smart enough to just switch to using women or old people if we decided that these two categories won’t be profiled?

            • musicacre

              You need to see the videos people are putting on youtube from Egypt, a mother whose university daughter was kidnapped and forced to marry a Muslim. When they came out to meet her father many months later she was under a body guard of 8 Muslim men and punched in the face in front of everyone when she tried to scream to her father. Her father was later jailed for trying to protest his daughter’s kidnapping. This scenario has happened to thousands of girls since the Brotherhood took over Egypt. You really idealize something you know nothing about. I suggest you read a book written by the past leader of the Muslim Federation of Canada, Tarek Fatah, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State. He is Muslim and yet protests all the politically-motivated hatred he has witnessed. He’s in it for the religion, and makes it clear as he moves through a very well-documented history, that most are not. People on this side of the Atlantic have a cotton-cocoon -y view of what goes on in harsher parts of the world. My husband’s family left Pakistan in 60′s, and came to Canada when he was a young boy, already getting a sense it was getting dangerous for Catholics.

              • bintalshamsa

                While YOU rely on Youtube videos, I hear what Coptic Christians have to say directly. For every example of a Christian girl abused by Egyptian Muslims, I could provide one where Christian girls are abused by Israeli Jews. This silly idea that Christians are suddenly being wiped out by Muslims is the silliest nonsense that Americans believe in. All throughout the world, Christians recognize that they are the majority and that Muslims have much more to fear than they do. They also recognize what is happening to their sisters and brothers in Palestine and they understand why the Catholics in that area side with the Muslims. You did know that, right? The Catholics are constantly pointing out how the Israeli Jews are violently oppressing them. Are they all liars? Are you under the belief that Catholics not smart enough to tell the difference between a Muslim and a person wearing an IDF uniform?

                • musicacre

                  Read the book and stop going on tangents, it makes you sound very prejudiced. Not to mention angry at the world.

                • musicacre

                  Nothing sudden about it; read your history. Particularly Spain, the portal into Europe for Muslims in the middle ages, and beyond. Read the book; it’s written by a Muslim.

      • tedseeber

        I deny the “Muslims” as a whole are dangerous, yes. Having said that, here’s a study on the theology of Islam we should all be aware of.

        http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/2009/12/why-muwahiddun-sect-of-islam-is.html

        http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/2011/05/update-on-muwahiddun-and-islamic.html

        http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-are-muwahiddun-so-illogical.html

        They will make more sense if you read them in the order I researched them.

        • bintalshamsa

          I’m not sure who did that “study” you linked, but you might want to find more reputable and knowledgeable sources. Those links are replete with errors. I’ve studied Arab cultures and religions for over a decade and a half. I’ve taken the time to learn Arabic, so I’ve learned what the Qur’an actually says (as opposed to just believing whatever someone tells me about it). I know that not everyone has done that. However, if you’re going to believe what someone has to say about it, you should probably pick someone who has even a rudimentary understanding of the Arabic language. It’s obvious the person who wrote that isn’t even remotely proficient in the language and hasn’t undertaken an academic study of Islam.

          • tedseeber

            I’m not proficient in the language, that’s true. My proficiency, such as it is, is based more on my knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic, which are at best, distant cousins.

            But one doesn’t have to be proficient to know that individual interpretation of scripture is indeed a dangerous doctrine; and one need not know very much to know that at least some small fundamentalist sects in Islam have adopted *individualistic* Jihad as a sixth pillar beyond the five pillars taught in Shi’a and Sunni thought.

            I have no doubt that the threat is real, but to pretend that theology in Islam is some sort of monolithic entity based on a religious book that nobody can even agree on the order of verses to, is kind of strange, don’t you think?

    • bintalshamsa

      The Boston bombers were white people, too. So, if we’re going to profile likely terrorists, that’s going to include the majority of the people in the country. Any terrorist could be any race. If you want to stop terrorism and you think profiling will help, then you’re going to have to be willing to be profiled yourself. Them’s the breaks.

    • musicacre

      There aren’t too many white people in Afghanistan blowing people up. The incidents you mention are noteworthy because they are so unusual.

  • Tony

    Edmund Spenser’s episode of the Egalitarian Giant (Faerie Queene, Book 5, canto 2) shows the most obvious contradiction inherent in such equalitarianism. It requires a massive INEQUALITY in power, for its enforcement. The vicious and imbecilic diktat from the Department of Education is a case in point. Ordinary people, in their ordinary towns, would never accede to something so flagrantly stupid, injurious to both boys and girls at once. ONLY a giant could make the peons submit.

    • Theorist

      Yes remember the experience of the ancients -equality needs a tyrant to enforce equality. For instance, Draco in Athens, Caesar in Rome, etc.

      An aristocratic class guards against tyranny, however, even they can become oligarchical and might try to use the promise of equality to confiscate all the wealth for themselves. That’s what we have in today’s capitalist America.

  • tedseeber

    I’m a special needs parent (my son has CP) and a special needs adult (I have Asperger’s) myself. This constant neurotypical insistence on the need to include people in situations where they are simply incapable of being included, is ridiculous.

    • bintalshamsa

      It’s also ridiculous to allow people with no training about the limitations of people with disabilities to decide whether we are incapable of carrying out something. If a particular person (e.g. you) doesn’t want to challenge themselves, then that’s their right. However, I would NEVER tell a person to simply not try because there’s a chance that they may not be successful. A person with one foot is disabled. However, does that mean they can’t play football? That has certainly been answered. A person with one and a half legs is disabled. However, does that mean they can’t be a track star? That has certainly been answered. A person with asthma is disabled. Does that mean they can’t be a soccer star? I’d love for you to tell that to David Beckham.

      Instead of assuming that you know what other people with disabilities can do, perhaps you should take a chance and attempt something challenging. You might have achieved greatness in some field if only you’d been bold enough to try. My child is disabled. She played soccer throughout high school and was one of the best players. I NEVER accepted excuses from her. I never let her claim that being disabled meant that she had an excuse to sit around and not attempt anything hard. It turns out that being disabled doesn’t mean you’re less capable than folks who aren’t disabled.

      • tedseeber

        But that’s not what the equality folks want. They want David Beckham to put his C-legs aside (because of course, if he uses the artificial springs in the C-legs, that’s “not fair” to the normal folks, right?) and then compete anyway.

        Setting a kid up for failure is no better than trying to oppress them.

        • bintalshamsa

          That is what the equality folks want. As a parent of a child with disabilities and a person with disabilities, I’ve actually been following this case quite closely. I don’t believe there’s any such thing as “setting a kid up for failure” when a child wants to try something. Maybe you see parenting differently, but I don’t believe in discouraging a child from attempting something just because they might not be instantly successful at it. Thank goodness, I’m not the only one who feels that way or there would be a lot more unproductive people in this world who could have accomplished their dreams if their parents hadn’t taught them to be cowards.

          • tedseeber

            All I know is if people had been more honest with me about my capabilities, I probably wouldn’t be so cynical today.

            So I try to be honest with my son. Not discouraging, but honest. Right now, his dream is to actually make money in lego design. But how can a kid who can’t do math or reading do the engineering necessary for large scale advertising models in lego?

            • bintalshamsa

              Well, all I know is that I’m glad that my parents never gave me any excuses to believe that I couldn’t accomplish all of my dreams. There’s a difference between honesty and pessimism. Your child wants to make money in Lego design. As a matter of fact, he wouldn’t necessarily need to be able to do math or reading in order to work in that field.

              My brother has dyslexia. It was so terrible that he couldn’t even write his own name properly. Today he’s a famous jazz musician who has traveled around the world several times and makes a really good living doing what he loves. If reading letters is difficult with dyslexia, imagine trying to read music notes! Yet, he never gave up and he has reached his goals and you know what? Now he has new goals for himself. See, when a person learns that they can accomplish something if they work hard enough, it motivates them to see what else they can learn with a bit more hard work.

              When I was over at University of Wisconsin Madison for a while, I got to meet a blind student who was just about to graduate from medical school. Who would have thought that a blind kid could find ways to accomplish everything needed to become a doctor? Fortunately, this kid didn’t have parents that told him not to bother trying, because it was probably impossible.

              I have a good friend who has dyscalculia. However, she is a magnificent cross-stitcher. You might think that not being able to count would make it difficult to deal with the grid work necessary to create cross-stitched art. However, it turns out that it can still be done and done WELL.

              I know I’m just a stranger, but I hope you’ll reconsider telling your son that he can’t grow up and make lego design his living. Sometimes careers in the arts are perfect for kids with disabilities. There are myriad articles and books written about artists who were severely disabled, but produced better work than those who have no excuse for mediocrity.

              My daughter, the one who played soccer, is also an artist. Her art has been exhibited in the Louisiana State Archives, multiple art galleries, and even though she hasn’t even started college yet (She starts in the fall), she is already getting paid for doing commissioned work. It beats the heck out of working at McDonald’s. That’s for sure!

              I’m appalled by the fact that the writer would take the attitude that being disabled means a child is incapable of doing what other kids do and should be prevented from trying. How in the world is THAT the kind of attitude that American children need right now?!

      • musicacre

        OBVIOUSLY it depends on what kind of disability. People with frothing at the mouth agendas are usually too eager to paint everyone with the same brush.. My daughter has a best friend who is legally bind, she is managing to raise children. But to put her behind the wheel of a car out of some rigid notion of equality is just stupid.

  • Thomas C. Coleman, Jr.

    Son far only John O’Neill has come close to naming the source of this disease by his allusion to Orwell. We are powerless over this enemy unless we able to say its name, just as an exoorcistmakes a demon procalim its name. How can we ignore the fact that the Genisis of this insidious pseudo-egalitarianism is Marixism. Catholics those who do not see this conection are vcitims of the infiltration of Catholic seminaires and colleges by people whose missions includied putting an end to all teaching about the true nature of Communism. How many educated Cathoics have even heard of Divini Redemptoris? Now, when the President says that in college he sought out Marixst porefesssors and radical feminists we do not recognize that such a remark is like saying that one is interested in Protestantism and Lutheranism. We must stop cowering and start showing our young how all of these things, from denigrating our brave WWII soldiers to promoting promiscuity and victim-mentality, are products of a still very alive Communist underworld that did not die when the Soviet system collapsed. Does anyone imagine that with the collapase of the Soviet system Marixsts around the world ran off and got baptized? On the contrary, they are mose determeind than ever to destroy what is left of Christendom.

    • Theorist

      The CIA, ADL, the FED, FBI, NSA, etc. are all transparently up to no good. However as the Untouchables taught us, “everybody knows where the booze is. The problem isn’t finding it, the problem is who wants to cross Capone”

    • musicacre

      Just look at that boy from a school called Liberty, who was featured on the Fox News recently. He stood at the podium to deliver his valedictory speech, which was pre-approved by the school, promptly tore it up and recited the Lord’s Prayer after detailing how he was raised a Christian. His audacity to stand up for what he believed, regardless of the consequences, made everyone go crazy with applause. You would almost think you had witnessed someone doing this in the 70′s in the Soviet Union, but no it was America where they said he had guts to stand against the establishment… What does that tell you of the currently accepted establishment? That no mention publicly, of Christianity will be tolerated? How did it come this far, so fast? This could be a watershed incident, courage has a way of doing that. We are all inspired by it.

  • thisoldspouse

    The late, great jurist Robert H. Bork examines this latest penchant for rampant egalitarianism in his excellent book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. I can’t recommend it enough. But be forewarned that it’s not for the faint of heart. The hyper-ugliness of the Left is revealed full bore by the author who witnessed it first-hand in the 60′s.

  • Zach Smith

    You misspelled “grotesqueries.”

  • Howard Kainz

    On a more hopeful note, there has always been a dialectic between liberty and equality in the American system. We are at an extreme of egalitarianism now, but forces promoting liberty in education, politics, religion, economics and family life can still surface and become ascendant.

  • Ford Oxaal

    The irony is we are all overwhelmingly equal already — we each have the power to forgive or not forgive, and we each face “now” and the “hour of our death”. In reality, everybody is in the same exact boat.

  • bintalshamsa

    Those “founding fathers” didn’t believe in equality. They believed in sovereignty for white, rich, non-disabled men. Those who were women, those who were poor, those who were African or Indigenous American, and those who were disabled were ALL left off from the list of those who supposedly had or deserved any rights. This is hardly something that the Roman Catholic church should condone. “Natural differences” meant that they saw the kidnapping, trafficking, enslavement, widespread sexual assault, and even mass slaughter of MILLIONS of Africans and Indigenous Americans as completely acceptable. Why on earth would ANY Catholic think that this is something we should aspire to emulate? Did God ever say that the commission of these sins were honorable? Did God ever say that we should imitate those who committed such heinous crimes against their fellow humans? If not, then what justification is there for the hero worship of these gross, unrepentant, murderous people?

    These men were NOT America’s founders. America had been founded 10,000 years prior to their arrival and subsequent genocide of millions of Indigenous Americans. To suggest that we should seek to return to their way of thinking and governing is abominable. These men even slaughtered the Indigenous Americans who had converted to the Roman Catholic church! Is that okay with the writer? How terrible do slavers, human traffickers, rapists, and genocidal misogynists have to be before the writer will decide that perhaps we should just stick to Christ as our exemplar?

    • Desert Sun Art

      These men were the founders of America as a country. No one is saying that they discovered this land, which was not known as America 10,000 years ago.

      Other than that, untwist your knickers. To recognize that we are all equal but different does not mean that we should automatically go back to those disgraceful behaviors. What the author is stating is that we have now gone to the complete opposite extreme which is just as disgraceful.

      • musicacre

        You didn’t take too long to make a very clear point. Thanks for not ranting.

  • haroldcrews

    Equality has become the basis of human dignity. We owe others respect because they are our equals. In other words because we see our own image in others we ought to treat others as we wish to be treated. This is an inversion. It twists love into conceit. We ought to love others because they are made in God’s image instead of our own.

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