Our 2019 Children’s Books of the Year stand out from an increasingly troubling crowd
If Mom bakes a rectangular cake and Dad comes along and cuts a rectangular piece out of it willy-nilly—not from the corner or even necessarily parallel to the edges, which would be less annoying—how can Mom divvy up the remainder of the cake into the two promised equal amounts for her children? (Answers at the end of this column.)
Now for a completely different brainteaser: What do you get if you scratch the equality movement in America? Answer: envy.
Ask the mother of the baby that King Solomon feigned slicing in half whether she is good with equality for equality’s sake. Ask the prostitute, whose baby it wasn’t, why she would have been fine with the cleanly split infant. The prostitute is happy with the dead child because she was never really interested in equality as a virtue but was always driven by a baser motive.
No one wants to say, “I envy people who have what I don’t have, or who can go where I’m not allowed to go, or who can do what I’m not allowed to do.” They say instead, “I think everyone should be equal.”
Hell’s ravenous lust for equality is echoed in the unslakable thirst for kings’ blood in the French Revolution.
The first recorded story of mankind revolved around the equality issue: Eve grasped at equality with God, producing epically disastrous results. Interestingly, “grasping at equality” is precisely what the incarnate Lord was lauded for not doing (Philippians 2:5-6).
There exists a place where everyone is equal, and it is hell. “Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come …, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’ Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, … maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers” (Isaiah 14:9-11).
Hell’s ravenous lust for equality is echoed in the unslakable thirst for kings’ blood in the French Revolution’s égalité of results, in contrast to the more felicitous fruit of the American Revolution’s equality of the pursuit of happiness. The virtuous man’s focus is vertical, “between yourself and God” (Romans 14:22). The covetous man is forever looking at the other guy, the horizontal, a bottomless pit of envy. “When they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Turns out that even after you have wrung the last drop of perceived unfair advantage out of the “haves” and handed it over to the “have nots” to quench the voracious god of Equality, there is always someone left in the room with a scintilla more than you to envy, a situation that cannot be tolerated.
C.S. Lewis predicts the Anschluss of the Boy Scouts by the 21st-century feminist Equality blitzkrieg when describing the domestic activism of discontented women in his own day, who had no peace as long as there may be a man out there somewhere enjoying the society of other men in a place where she is not particularly wanted.
“A woman of that sort has a hundred arts to break up her husband’s Friendships. … Whenever the men meet, the women must come too. … They banish male companionship … from whole neighborhoods. … This victory … is often unconscious. There is, however, a more militant type of woman who plans it. I have heard one say, ‘Never let two men sit together or they’ll get talking about some subject …’” (The Four Loves).
I myself graduated from an all-girls’ high school in the 1960s. I cannot say whether on balance that was a good thing or a bad thing, but one positive aspect was how it promoted focus on our schoolwork.
Jesus had a lot of women in His coterie (Luke 8:1-3), but only men were allowed inside the club He chose to train as leaders of His church. He evidently thought they needed that.
(Cake riddle answer: Find the centers of both the cake and the rectangular missing piece, respectively, at the intersection of diagonals from the corners of the rectangles. Cut a straight line across the two center points, and voila, equal halves of cake. Or simply slice the cake horizontally across the middle.)