After reading the short story "Harrison Bergeron," evaluate the statement "all people are equal." What does God's word say in regard to this idea?

In light of the story "Harrison Bergeron," all people are not equal in talents and abilities. However, in most countries they are equal before the law. In biblical terms, they are equal in terms of the possibility of salvation.

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In the satirical science-fiction short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., the author has created a world in which physical and mental equality has been dictated by law. Vonnegut shows the absurdity of attempting to do this by having the characters wear debilitating weights and devices that impair their natural talents and abilities but cause them intense discomfort and pain. We can see from this that all people are in fact not equal with respect to the particular talents and abilities that they derive from their genes and environments.

This calls into question how the statement "all people are equal" can be true. In legal terms, "all people are equal" means that everyone must be treated the same when it comes to keeping and upholding the law. There should be no favoritism because of gender, race, culture, religion, or other criteria such as these when administering justice.

In Biblical terms, at least in terms of the New Testament, the statement "all people are equal" means that everyone has the same chance at salvation according to the promises of God. This has nothing to do with the physical or mental abilities of diverse individuals, but rather that everyone, regardless of their backgrounds or talents, has a soul that can be saved if they turn to God.

We can look at some Bible passages that back this up. First of all, in the book of Matthew, chapter 11, verse 28, Jesus says:

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

He makes no qualifications that he only accepts certain genders or ages or races of people. All people equally are welcome. As for equality after salvation, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that "all people are equal" in the Christian faith when he writes in the book of Galatians, chapter 3, verse 28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

On the other hand, the Bible acknowledges that individual people, though they may be equal in terms of salvation, have different skills, talents, and abilities. For instance, Jesus points this out through the parable of the talents in chapter 25 of the book of Matthew. In the parable, various servants are given different amounts of talents and are expected to use them profitably while the master is gone. They are not expected to all come up with the same results, but rather to profit according to their various abilities.

The Apostle Paul expounds on this further in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. He explains that members of the church are given diverse gifts or talents, and these differ from one another just as the various parts of a body are different from each other. However, ultimately "all people are equal" because they are all parts of the same body, even though they serve different purposes within the body.

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