October 30, 2021
Subject: The America Experience, Part 2: Surrendering Liberty for Equality
1Timothy 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Speaking to an audience of 3,000 at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall, Dennis Prager explained why half of Americans don’t see how equality is destroying liberty: “The American Revolution of 1776 emphasized liberty. The French Revolution of 1789, just 13 years later, emphasized equality. The French Revolution said Liberty, Fraternity, Equality. The American Revolution said Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We have lost touch with what our distinctive American values are.”
Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution reveal a major difference between the American and French Revolutions. The American Revolution emphasized that we are all equal before God and the law since God is our Creator to whom we all stand accountable. But that’s where American equality ends.
The French are secularists – they see themselves as able to build their society without God. One consequence of such foolishness is the definition of European equality that many Americans are getting sucked into. It is called “equality of result”, that all people should be equal in their standard of living.
Dennis Prager explains: “Equality of result means the end of freedom. You cannot have equality of result and freedom at the same time. As an example, with equality of result, quarterbacks, shortstops and goalies would not make more than teachers or doctors. In true equality, everyone would make the same living.
With liberty, quarterbacks, shortstops and goalies make more money than doctors. Now why is that? Doctors save lives but goalies don’t – they save games. There’s a big difference between a game and a life. But a free society allows this because your work ethic, talent and luck all play a role and determine where you will end up. So, for everyone to make the same living means it must be forced on society.”
The America Revolution fought for liberty. The French Revolution fought for equality, that everyone is equal and deserves equal rights and opportunities. So everyone gets the same salary, the same benefits and so on.
Again, Dennis Prager: “Why would anyone prefer equality to liberty? I have no problem with someone making a lot more money than me. I just wanted to be free to make my own life. But not everyone wants to do that. The truth is that most people desire to be taken care of much more than they want to be free.
While liberty is a value, our human instinct is not to be free but to be taken care of. But then you are not free. If you desire liberty, you must take care of yourself. But to do that means I am responsible for me.
The American Revolution centered on 3 things: 1) I take care of me, 2) I take care of my family, 3) I take care of my community. The State does not have to take care of anyone because we, the individual citizens, will. As an example, even to this day, Americans are the most charitable people per capita in the world.
Why do Americans give far more to charity than Europeans? Because the French Revolution taught them the Socialist ideal – the State takes care of you. Americans were taught you, not the State, take care of you, your family and your community. This is what free people do – they take responsibility for their lives.”
As this week’s verse explains, the Christian worldview holds you, not the government, responsible to provide for you and your family. The Bible goes further in exhorting us to care about others before ourselves: “Do nothing in selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind esteem others better than yourself. Look out not only for your own interests, but also the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
This is why the French Revolution was godless. In order to promote equality of result, you must reject biblical wisdom and the Author of that wisdom: Jesus Christ. You see, Philippians 2:3-4 are the verses used to describe the type of Person that Jesus is, as the very next verse says: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Christ held Himself responsible to care for others.
But caring for others goes against human nature. It is our nature to want to be taken care of, not to be responsible for ourselves. But this is what liberty means – this is what makes America great – exceptional.
For liberty to thrive, we must never allow equality of results. We, not the government, must take responsibility for our individual lives, our families and our communities, just as Jesus Christ commands.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.