Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Disdain for Distinctions

At the heart of wisdom are necessary distinctions. Distinctions are also at the heart of justice:

·       Whoever says to the guilty, "You are innocent"-- peoples will curse him and nations denounce him. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them. (Proverbs 24:24-25)

These words, along with the distinctions they make, have become offensive to the modern mind. Now, we tend to disdain distinctions in favor of promoting sameness. We have leveled the distinctions between male and female and the innocent and the guilty. There is a rising clamor for income equality, citizenship equality for illegal aliens, and even parenting equality:

·       [British Academic Adam] Swift said parents should be mindful of the advantage provided by bedtime reading. “I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said.

Insanity? Perhaps! But we first need to ask some critical questions:

1.     What happens to a society that disdains the distinctions between the innocent and the guilty, the lazy and the hard-worker, the devoted parent and the me-centered parent?

2.     Does leveling income, work, and even parenting produce a more just or loving society?

What was the experience under communism? Poverty, coercion, totalitarianism, unsustainability, and the most profound examples of genocide!

In Krakov, Anita and I went on a tour to the ideal communist city, Nowa Kuta. All worked in the same factory. All were given the same income and same lodgings. Did the removal of these distinctions create a greater brotherhood? Apparently not! Instead, we were told that they lived isolated lives divided by walls of suspicion. At least, they were guaranteed lodgings and an income, which, at the end, could only be paid in vodka and sugar.

Are the distinctions that we are now rejecting necessary? I think that history would cry out, “Yes!”

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