Equal in Dignity

Is a statement I can generally agree with. Since this is, in a simplistic way, what the Church teaches.

The Church does not teach anything so blithe and meaningless as:

'We are all equal'.

Nor is equality in human dignity even the focus of so many 'equality campaigners'. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not teach equality and if you can find me a passage of Scripture in which the doctrine of 'equality' is expounded, I will be very surprised indeed.


Yet, I see that even the statement, 'we're all equal in our human dignity' is problematic, since we believe that the dignity conferred on us by right of our humanity - given to us by the Creator - is not the same as the supernatural dignity -given to us by the Creator - conferred on us through Baptism, as adopted sons and daughters of God, nor does it account for the loss of dignity we suffer from mortal sin, or its restoration through grace and salvation.

The equality concept is an extremely dangerous if powerful and emotive ideology. Why can we not just say, all should be treated with dignity, something the State and the French Revolutionaries lamentably fail(ed) to do? The poor, the prisoner, the rich, the clergy, the Queen, the homosexual etc, because whoever a person is, whatever their state may be, whatever their sin, all things are in Jesus Christ, restored, and this glorious dignity of son and daughtership is what we should wish for all people - and if they don't want that - you still treat them with dignity because God has commanded you to love.


Savonarola said…
D'accord. So we are all equal - in our human dignity, because we are all personally dear to God. This is essentially what I was trying to say before.
The Bones said…
It should be added that while equality is something campaigned for by so many, human dignity is respected not very much - not even by the campaigners for equality.
viterbo said…
Wisdom 14:9 "For equally hateful to God are the ungodly man and his ungodliness." Human Dignity is something we can gain and something we can lose - it is not a 'human right'. The sacraments confer dignity. Ordination confers dignity straight from the High Priesthood of Christ Himself (which is why priests deliberately acting without dignity or attempting to sabotage the dignity of the priesthood is a great shame).

'While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim His kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm His rights.' (Quas Primas 25)

I would say that when it comes to 'human rights', and 'human dignity', they exist only to the degree we submit to God's Rights, and God's Dignity, so, I would say, the equality drive loses out to God's Truth again.
viterbo said…
p.s. 'Everything has been made for the Incarnate Word - everything is for God. Everything belongs to Our Lord. We are only worth anything in the measure in which we are united with Him, in the measure in which we are His. Everything exists for the Glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ.' Abp Lefebvre.
Bruvver Eccles said…
Didn't someone say "Inequality is the root of social evil"?

Luckily tweets carry only slightly more authority than private telephone conversations.
viterbo said…
p.s.s. Thinking more on the discussion, following God's laws can only increase our human dignity, just as committing sin must cause us to lose it; seeking out the sacraments restores it. Following false religions and false prophets must damage our dignity, returning to truth, restoration. As you explore the subject you can see that if the equalists were right there could be no free will - and thus no human dignity anyway. Therefore, knowledge of the authentic Faith is imperative for human dignity, knowledge and keeping the Faith.
Joe Potillor said…
equal in dignity, difference in function, difference in degree
Andrew said…
I'm not sure we are all equal in our human dignity.

The Church quite rightly opposes the unjust murder of innocents, particularly of those in the womb, but has a well voiced and articulate stance on the notion of a Just War. In addition to this, the penalty of death has never been abrogated by any Council, and indeed there are many sound reasons to think that such a recourse is in itself quite merciful.

If we're equal in anything, it is in our capacity to respond to God's words, and in that response to do good works as the Church and Scripture has always taught.
viterbo said…
Here's a good resource for understanding, 'what does the bible really say?', since St Peter warns that we delude ourselves if we think we can interpret scripture apart from the Tradition of the Church:


p.s. it seems impossible to me that there is no verticle beam on the 'cross' of human dignity. is the Blessed Virgin not greater in human dignity than, say, Judas, when both were on earth? Was St Mary Magdalene suffering from a lack of human dignity before Christ healed her and she converted? to make equivalent in human dignity a fulminator of lies and a prolcaimer of Truth is a bit deranged. God gives everyone sufficient grace to be saved, but how many of us choose to live with less 'dignity' than even animals? to insist we all have equal dignity 'just because', is not particularly persuasive, and again it means we cannot gain in dignity because then there will be no equality in dignity. does it not make sense that sin, which diminishes grace diminishes our dignity?

p.s. Bruvver Eccles, luckily he didn't tweet his traditonal source backing up that all 'social evil', is due to inequality. I would have thought the world, the flesh and the devil had something to do with it.
viterbo said…
"Wisdom praiseth herself: her origin, her dwelling, her dignity, and her fruits."

on the haydock commentary ( http://haydock1859.tripod.com/index.html ) there is a search engine whereby you can search the whole commentary for words and terms. (you can also do the same for the bible at http://drbo.org/index.htm ). human 'dignity', seems only to ever be explored in making distinctions between humans as 'persons' and as people of responsibility. as in there is a dignity proper to a king, and a dignity proper to an apostle, to a priest, etc. while i guess there is a dignity proper to a human being, does that mean that we all excercise it, or is it a passive thing that requires no input from us? if wisdom increases dignity, what then? is it proper to human dignity to murder children? to rip people off?or commit any grave sins? would we forfeit dignity in doing so?