Dinesh D Souza, The Greatness of Christianity: Table of Contents
Cf. Dinesh D’souza, What’s So Great About Christianity, at Amazon
“Another Christian concept, no less crazy: the concept of equality of souls before God. This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights.” —Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power
IN PREVIOUS CHAPTERS I have discussed how Christianity is responsible for important ideas and institutions that remain central to our lives. Of course, not all these Christian innovations are valued by everyone. Some may object to Christianity precisely because it has given us capitalism or the traditional two-parent family. But here I discuss a Christian legacy that virtually all secular people cherish: the equality of human beings. This Christian idea was the propelling force behind the campaign to end slavery, the movement for democracy and popular self-government, and also the successful attempt to articulate an international doctrine of human rights. My celebration of Christianity’s role in shaping these great social changes comes with a sober corollary: if the West gives up Christianity, it will also endanger the egalitarian values that Christianity brought into the world. The end of Christianity also means the systematic erosion of values like equal dig- nity and equal rights that both religious and secular people cherish.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” he claimed that this was a self-evident truth. But it is not evident at all. Indeed, most cultures throughout history, and even today, reject the proposition. On the face of it, there is something absurd in claiming human equality when all around us we see dramatic evidence of inequality. People are unequal in height, in weight, in strength, in stamina, in intelligence, in perseverance, in truthfulness, and in about every other quality. Inequality seems to be the self-evident reality of human nature.