Equality is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the quality or state of being equal; the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.
We are all born into this world as helpless babies, growing from infants to children, adolescents, and finally adults. I think most people, these days, believe all humans are created equal, although not all people or societies act like it. It is hard to imagine that given two people, one would be considered to be better or more valuable than the other. And for those who believe not all people were created equal, their justifications for such beliefs quickly take on an attitude that feels bigoted and racist. So much so that most people in our country find racism abhorrently wrong but are also hesitant to confront inequality and demand changes in areas of society that do not affect them. Unfortunately, this seems to be a part of our history, to value good over evil, right over wrong, and then sit back in our chairs and watch injustice prevail.
The idea of equality is undoubtedly taught in most major religions in the West. Although there is a definite concept of obeisance towards God, most Western religions teach us to treat other people with love, kindness, and respect. These attributes foster a sense of equality within a group of believers. But, once again, there are many examples throughout history when the religious were either the oppressors or the oppressed.
In the West, theology is the primary source of morals and ethics. Many Americans learned their values from religion. These beliefs went on to form the cornerstone of our nation’s legal priorities and obligations. The church, however, has always been fractured into several factions, which has weakened the solidarity of its beliefs. Furthermore, the morality provided by theology seems to be conditional in that non-believers are seen as immoral and unethical creatures, undeserving of God’s and thus society’s good graces. As culture morphs into a global landscape, the need for a multi-national sense of ethics has produced a need for a secular form of ethics, but theology has pushed back in resistance. Their individual goodness, in their minds, it seems, is greater than the greater good.
The United States was founded on the idea that all people were created equal. Our Declaration of…