Equity or Equality
America’s Founding Fathers wrote that all men are created equal. They were highly influenced in this by Deuteronomy 1:17 “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and great…”. The concept of equality was equal standing with or access to the law. Everyone had equal rights before the law. This Constitutional concept and the conscience of Christian leaders led to the abolishment of legal slavery in the United States. Slavery had been a human institution for 4,000 plus years but became illegal in America within about 75 years of the ratification of the Constitution. This was a major change in the history of humanity.
We are not responsible for what we are given as children. As adults we are responsible for what we do with that information. When I was a child I was told Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communist. My friend Titus from Kenya was told if you see a white man, run because they will eat you. Neither one of us could control what we were given as children but I later concluded that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great civil rights leader and Titus found that he could partner with white people in America to help provide wells, churches and Bible teaching for thousands in his congregation in Kenya.
Early Americans inherited slavery. It had been a part of humanity for thousands of years before they were born. There was definitely abuse and inhumane practices that should have never happened. But also, there were hundreds of thousands of mostly white men that died to make slavery illegal in America, within 90 years of its founding. Did that end racism? No. It is present in every culture I have been in. But it ended legal slavery and started a process of reconciling the problems that slavery created.
Equality has been replaced in the modern dialogue with the term equity. Equity implies equality of possessions and privilege without regard to merit. It is one of the foundational premises of Marxism/Socialism/Communism. This equity only applies to the general population not to the leaders. The concept enables something to be taken away from someone who has earned it and given to someone who has less but has not earned or merited that possession.
We call this redistribution of wealth. Our Founders called it “leveling” and said it was not the place of government to do this, believing it was a sign of tyranny or oppression for government to take away from one to give to another. In its most basic form taking from one who has earned something and forcing that one to give it to another is theft.
Our Founders believed benevolence should be handled by individuals or by organizations formed to help others. If done by Government, it was a sign of tyranny. They encouraged generosity which is voluntarily giving to others who are in need.
In contrast to a Socialist society would be a meritocracy, where people are rewarded or promoted on the basis of merit (they worked for it). People are encouraged to engage in work that earns a wage and merits promotion.
Equity and Equality Sources