Should Muslims be required to clock out to pray? Hertz instructed 26 Somali Muslim employees at its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to do so. They refused, so Hertz fired them. Now the National Labor Relations Board has sided with Hertz.
Should Baptist softball teams withdraw from their league if another team’s pastor is gay? Three churches in the St. Louis area did so recently when they learned that the new pastor of St. John United Church of Christ is bisexual. However, the local ministerial alliance allowed the pastor to remain part of their group.
France’s new president has named his Cabinet. Why is this fact part of today’s essay? Because he chose to split the group evenly along gender lines: half of the 34 ministers and junior ministers are women.
By contrast, no women were selected as best director candidates at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Critics are complaining, publishing op-eds and signing petitions. The festival’s artistic director responds: “It wouldn’t be very nice to select a film because it is not good but it is directed by a woman.”
Here’s my question: does America stand for liberty or equality?
It’s a huge issue, at the heart of the culture wars being fought in our country today. One side is convinced that everyone should be treated equally, whatever their religion, sexual orientation, or gender. A presidential cabinet or film festival should include every constituency identically. In economic terms, we should strive for equality of outcomes, working to create laws and circumstances that produce the same benefit for all.
The other side is convinced that everyone should be treated fairly, whatever their religion, sexual orientation, or gender. A presidential cabinet or film festival should consider every constituency, but should select those who perform the best. In economic terms, we should strive for equality of opportunity, working to create laws and circumstances that produce the same chance for success but rewarding achievement.
Which position is more biblical? When the children of Israel entered their Promised Land, God apportioned their inheritance according to their tribal size (Numbers 26:53). Each resident had the same chance to succeed, but success was guaranteed to none. Early Christians distributed aid according to need, not equality (Acts 4:35). Paul taught the churches, “If a man will not work, he will not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
You and God have formed a divine-human partnership. As you work, he works. Noah built the ark, but God closed the door (Genesis 6:14; 7:16). How has he called you to partner with him today?