Crossing the

Delware River…George Washington did, as this painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recounts.

The Commodore Barry Bridge crosses the Delaware.

30th-Street Station rises above the Schuylkill, just up from the Delaware.

Speaking of the Revolutionary War: the Declaration of Independence declares that we hold to be “self-evident” that “all men are created equal.”

Is this self-evident? What do we mean by ‘equal?’

Certainly we do not mean that all men, women, and children are of equal height, weight, toothsomeness, intelligence, earning-capacity, or dexterity. We do not mean that all communicate with equal effectiveness, contribute with equal generosity, or smile with equal radiance or frequency.

In fact, we would be hard-pressed to name a single observable quality in which all men share equally.

The equality of all men shimmers with self-evidence when we take one crucial thing for granted. Namely, that God loves us all with divine love. This has been demonstrated by the Son of God, when He died.

“All men are created equal”–a self-evident proposition, to a Christian. Nonetheless, whenever anyone asserts the equality of men, we need to bear in mind precisely this supernatural dimension of the equality. We are equal in God’s sight. We are not equal in each other’s sight.

The respect in which we are equal trumps. All our natural rights proceed from our equality in the sight of God. We have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because we are the darlings of God.

To seek our equality in anything else sets up a fall. To insist that we have rights for any other reason invites calamity. We are altogether unequal, except in the quality which matters most: God made us for no other reason than to love us. That much is true of absolutely every last one of us.

One thought on “Crossing the

  1. Father Mark,

    I worked on the 2nd Delaware Memorial Bridge as a survyor in 1966 (at heights up to 400 feet — I still don’t know how I did that). My father worked on a bridge on the Schuylkill in the 1940’s; a man fell overboard; and he jumped in after him (and got him); my father had dysentery for a week after (it wasn’t a very clean river back then). At the time, when I crossed the Delaware, we used a tug. Our shipping protection was by the Coast Guard Cutter Saulk (which we referred to as the Cutty Sark).

    All of which is meant to be my comment on the “connectivity” of humaness. While being connected does not mean equality, the barriers that prevent the sense of equality seem to disappear with connectiveness — if there is a s sense of CHRIST in the midst of it all. It spans time, physical barriers, and social, political and economic barriers. This, in support of your conclusion.



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