We tend to see equality of outcome as a sign of fair play, even spiritual holiness, but it’s the devil, not God, who longs for a brutal and boring equality..

Ponder the very foundations for a moment.  In the very first chapter of the Bible, God declares a rigid hierarchy.  Man is to have dominion over “..the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth..” He follows that by making Eve a “helper” for Adam, and then He declares His pleasure with Abel’s sacrifice and His displeasure with Cain’s. The created order itself is wildly divergent in form and power. Oak trees live longer than blades of grass and whales displace more water than minnows. With the exception of equality before His law, almost nothing about the created order is anything like “equal.” Throughout history, He seems to have enshrined a vast gradient of condition — clumsy to graceful, ugly to beautiful, poor to rich, foolish to wise.  Some men are absolutely “worthless” and others are “chosen.” He doesn’t even apologize for loving some of His children more than others.  “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

If you believe theologians’ like R.C. Sproul, this inequality of condition even outlasts the present life.  There will be degrees of glory and circles of hell.  God appears to enjoy the dramatic necessity for heroes and villains — all things being decidedly unequal.

We tend to see our desire for equal outcomes as a virtuous spiritual inheritance, as though this were a mark of our divine pedigree, but it’s far more likely to be rooted in our fallen, depraved nature.  The parent or teacher who insists on a “prize for participating,” is too timid to allow a child to see the world as it really is — a world that rewards ambition and native talent and desire.  That child will discover reality without the strength to face it, having enjoyed protection from childhood grief in return for a stunted and emotionally needy adulthood.  We can only pray such children do not become airline mechanics.

Anyone picked last for basketball, anyone who spends the entire night on the edge of the dance floor without a partner, understands that on some level the game is rigged, and while we should do everything possible to better our condition, we operate to some extent within the confines of our biology and our cultural inheritance.  I remember a church youth group, years ago, dedicated to single adults in their twenties.  The idea behind this little congregation was to find a mate.  There was a very troubled young lady in that group who called our family quite a bit, just to chat, sometimes for hours.  One day, when complaining about loneliness, she confessed..

“Here’s the thing.  Very few guys want to date a girl with brain damage.”

How could I respond?  She did, in fact, have brain damage. How could I comfort her?  I may have made a joke about most men being brain damaged anyway, or, more likely, I may have attempted to change the subject after an awkward pause, but, in any event, the cold contours of social hierarchy were laid bare to contemplate.  The world is full of unequal burdens, and while we must do all we can to soften the cruelty of those burdens, at some point we have to be something like Job, or even Esau.  We have to play the cards we were dealt, without grumbling too much.

For most of history, unredeemed, grumbling malcontents have had to content themselves with merely economic extortion.  You can steal a wealthy woman’s money, but you can’t really take away her grace or her beauty.  You can tax a wealthy man out of his estate, but you won’t really be able to steal his wisdom.  You can engage in economic extortion, moreover, and you can make it sound holy, by claiming to do it all in the name of the poor, but the measuring stick for all this bald covetousness remains what it always has been — an exchange of money or material goods.

Enter the Present Weirdness

When we witness a morbidly obese man dressed in an evening gown and graciously accepting the beauty contest crown–all to the wild applause of an audience denying their senses–we have entered into new territory.  Absent an ability to surgically graft one woman’s beauty onto a homely, but intersectionally approved man, we now simply deny the objective standard for beauty itself.  We can’t tax the beauty out of the beautiful so we pretend the repulsive is sublime. It’s only fair, right?

If you have watched Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman attempting to conduct a committee meeting, or Joe Biden attempting to find his way off stage, you get the sense that these folks won’t be happy just taking your money.  They absolutely need you to pretend they are just as articulate as you are — no matter how incomprehensible their rhetoric. It’s only fair, right?

When incoming medical students must declare, on penalty of not being admitted, that a man can have a baby, we are witnessing an entirely different kind of thievery, and it doesn’t demand your money.  These folks aren’t just raping your wallet.  They are raping your mind, and asking you to accept this assault:  there are cis-born females who really wanted to be a man and still want to have a baby and you have to make them feel good about it.  It’s only fair, right?

I suppose decades of affirmative action should have prepared us for this charade, but for millions of Americans, you just can’t look at a broken jet engine and declare it equal with the one currently in the sky — the one that is really working.   You can’t pretend that Leah Thomas is really a female swimmer, when “she” parades “her” junk in the women’s shower. You can’t witness Rachel Levine trying to be just one of the girls, without chuckling, or fighting back the vomit.

How long will it be, gents, before we face fines for refusing a dance with Leah or Rachel?  How long will it be before “fair-minded equality” attempts to attach penalties to any and all disparities of condition?   Fine for being too educated?  Arrested for reading too much?   Jailed for being too evangelical?

Given a few more years of prize-for-participating, none of that seems impossible.   All of our problems, at root, are theological.  The next time a well-meaning parent proposes a trophy for every kid in the league, you might just observe, “I’d like to see what a real winner looks like, even if it’s not my kid.”