I’m sure Solzhenitsyn means equality of outcome (what we would call equity), not equality of opportunity.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Stella, oh, that the Declaration of Independence were thoroughly taught in our schools!
I’ve always taken the preamble to the Declaration of Independence to mean that our Creator God endows every human with life, freedom, plus the ability to pursue happiness to the extent intelligence, talents and gifts enable us to do. In THAT we are equal.
Obviously everyone doesn’t have the same intelligence, talents and gifts, but that doesn’t mean that we have the right to oppress anyone possessed of lesser amounts of these qualities. Discernment in what to do for those who are developmentally disabled and unable to properly take care of themselves is a task for those whose compassion and abilities enable them to discover solutions. There is a phrase running in my mind at this moment (don’t know who said it and it’s probably not exact), “The great law of culture is that each man becomes all he is capable of becoming.”
The rightful role of government is indicated in the Apostle Paul’s first letter to Timothy, chapter 2, verses 1-4: “So, first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity. Teach them to pray for kings (or anyone in high places for that matter) so that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives—reverent, godly, and holy—all of which is good and acceptable before the eyes of God our Savior who desires for everyone to be saved and know the truth.”
The phrase,”So that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives”, means without being persecuted, enslaved, or forced to do things against our will. If we are so unfortunate as to be caught in such a non-peaceful existence, we must continue to do that hardest of all things (to me) and that is to pray for those who oppress us. In order to accomplish that even if we don’t feel like it, we ought to pray to God that He will give us even the desire to pray for those who hate us.
The following is an excellent article from the Acton Institute on the subject of government…”Biblical Foundations of Limited Government”
By Doug Bandow • July 20, 2010
As for pursuing happiness, here’s another excellent essay about the philosophy of the man who coined that phrase: John Locke…”The Pursuit of Happiness”
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