sounds good, doesn’t it? after all, equity is one of the big three – diversity, equity and inclusion. Equity is important we are told and different from equality. A definition of this difference reads in part, “Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.”
So that’s the end goal – outcomes must be equal. But did I understand that right? In order to achieve this equal outcome, unequal amounts of resources and opportunities must be given to various people in order to ensure that the end result is everyone having the same amount of things and the same level of success. How ironic! We are treating people unequally in the name of equity. Equity reminds me of high school and group projects. Remember those? Teachers would split the class into smaller groups and assign a project with a presentation. The grade would be a group grade – the same for every member of the group and everyone knew this. If you had an aspiring valedictorian in your group, you had hit the jackpot. No way was this individual going to let anyone bring down his or her GPA – even if they had to do all the work themselves.
What usually happened was that two or three students would do all the work but everyone in the group would get the same grade, whether bad or good. Some students might be assigned the task of bringing poster board for the visual presentation part of the group project, but even this was risky because they often didn’t attend the group meetings and might forget to bring the poster board when it was needed. While a few group members did the reading and the research and the writing and the preparing, the other group members could rest secure in the knowledge that equity would prevail and they would reap a reward equal to that of every other group member even if they did nothing or did very little.
Today I hear about equity all the time, equity in school, equity in the workplace, equity in life in general. The celebrities and newscasters and politicians and athletes – all kinds of well known people are all for equity. And I must say, I am glad to hear this. I can hardly wait till they make equity a reality. (they seem so passionate about it, I’m sure they will start practicing equity soon) After all, they say no one should be better off than anyone else. Equal outcomes is the thing. No one should be made to feel bad or to feel less than, right?
I know I am eagerly anticipating a major upgrade in my situation when equity for all kicks in. I am especially looking forward to the time when Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and others like them start sharing their wealth with the rest of us. Talk about your unequal outcomes – they have definitely got a lot to do in order to set things right. I’m assuming movie stars and politicians will be opening their multiple homes and estates to the homeless to level the playing field. I’m definitely certain that BLM leadership, who are all about equity, (so much so that they burned down and looted other people’s places of business and neighborhoods) will definitely be divesting themselves of all the properties they bought after corporations gave them huge sums of money in order to protect themselves from BLM violence and destruction. They now need to give their homes to the homeless. After all, that’s equity.
Let’s follow equal outcomes to their logical conclusion, shall we? I’m surprised so many pro athletes are pro equity. After all, with equal outcomes, there are no winners and losers. So how does this work in sports? No one wins a game? No winning season or losing season? No Superbowl, World Series or Final Four? Only two teams can go to the Superbowl. Is that really fair or equitable to all the other teams who don’t get to play in the Superbowl? And what about salaries? Why should the quarterback get paid more than his teammates? Shouldn’t all members of all the football teams get paid the exact same salary? That’s equity. It shouldn’t matter what position you play or how much experience you have, or if you are a starter or on the bench. Like the group project in high school, it’s not what you contribute that matters. The outcome must be equitable for all. To this end, the star of the movie shouldn’t get paid more than all the other cast members. They should all receive equal compensation. (I’m sure the lead role wouldn’t mind taking a big pay cut to accomplish the worthy end goal of equity)
This must be why the state of Oregon just changed their requirements for graduation from high school. An individual no longer needs to pass standardized tests to show proficiency in math and other subjects in order to receive a high school diploma. Everyone can receive this outcome of a high school diploma, regardless of whether they are able to meet minimum competency standards or not. Equity demands equal outcomes, disregarding a widely unequal range of individual abilities. I guess there will be no more “graduating with honors” from high school or college, no more valedictorians and salutatorians? That would imply an unequal outcome.
Does equity mean no more promotions in the workplace? Promotions would mean that unequal outcomes are taking place. To this end, we must stop rewarding hard work and excellence in any field of endeavor, including athletics. If equity is the rule, there is no Olympics. Or just like our four year olds in soccer, everyone gets a gold medal or everyone gets a participation medal. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it’s all the same, all equal. (no one’s feelings should be hurt even if they can’t run or swim as fast as the other guy)
I’m sure people like the ladies on The View will lead the way in sharing their many properties and possessions with all of us who have less than they do, now that they realize they should not have more than others have, because that would be a disparate or unequal outcome and that is not the equity which we are now told is the goal of our society – equity for all. It’s like the group project in high school, even those who produce no goods or provide no services will share equally in whatever there is to be distributed. I kind of like the idea of the pro football player and the McDonald’s worker living the same lifestyle because they are paid equally for what they do. And I’m sure all of the “woke” and vocal pro athletes agree with me and will be renouncing their huge salaries in the name of equity any day now.
Equity for all – it sounds so good, so right. but . . . “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
There’s an interesting story in Matthew 25 that starts out like this, ” . . . a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.”
Well, that certainly does not seem very equitable to me at all. But a reason is given. Each one had different abilities, which their master recognized, and this determined what they were given. The story continues when the man returns and finds the man with five talents has earned five more, the one with two talents has gained two more but the one who had received the single talent has done nothing with it. This upset his master who said,
“You wicked, lazy servant! . . . You should have put the money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
So not a lot of equity going on here in this story – but maybe a more realistic view of our situation. We are all created with different abilities. I sure didn’t get the brilliant mind for math that God gave Katherine Johnson, not many of us did. And I didn’t inherit any athletic abilities that would get me to the Olympics in any sport. But some people do possess those abilities, so why shouldn’t they use and develop those God given abilities to their fullest potential? We will not have equal outcomes. They will not have equal outcomes with other athletes. They may be better than some but not as good as others. That’s why we used to love sports, for the simple thrill of competition. But there are not equal outcomes in competition. Competition by definition is equal opportunity to compete (equality) but not equal outcomes (equity). In fact, I’m thinking equity would do away with the entire gambling industry. Why? Well, we could give everyone the exact same amount of money to start with and then turn them loose in Vegas to gamble. But everyone is going to have a different outcome depending on which games they play, how much they bet and if they are lucky or unlucky. Equal outcomes do not happen in casinos. Some make money, some lose money. There are winners and there are losers. This does not sound like equity to me. Luke 12:48 says,
“to whom much is given, much is required.” Our outcomes will be different because we are all uniquely created and given varying amounts of talents like those in the story in Matthew. We are created for God’s many different and good purposes – purposes that look different from each other, but all have the same end goal, to bring glory to God. All creation praises their Creator – each in their own way – from the bullfrog to the nightingale – very different sounds, but both music to God’s ears nonetheless. We too, praise and serve God, each in our own way. As the body of Christ we each have different parts to play within the body. Hopefully, I will take what God has entrusted to me and I will use it well. I will not demand an outcome equal with someone who has been entrusted with more or with less. Mine is to be faithful with what He has given me, not to spend my time desiring what He has given to others, because in the end, I want to hear these words,
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)
sincerely, Grace Day