October 22, 2015 – In Memoriam Jesuit Fr. Robert Araujo – Discrimination, Equality, and Catholic Teaching: The Distinction between Just and Unjust Discrimination
The late Father Araujo’s brilliant essay on discrimination discusses false views of equality used to promote abortion and same-sex marriage in opposition to human dignity. He then articulates the Church’s more insightful understanding that not all discrimination is unjust; there is just discrimination. Treating differently situated things unequally is not unjust, for justice is giving to each what is his due. In fact, to treat differently situated things equally would be unjust. A man/woman couple and a man/man couple are fundamentally different in that the former can bear children and the latter cannot. So being differently situated, justice demands that they be treated unequally.
Father Araujo discusses the Declaration of Independence and its principle that “all men are created equal” as being consistent with the vision of the Church regarding human equality. The Founder’s understand the relational nature of the human person, and like the Church, insisted that rights and duties are co-relative. A theoretical understanding of equality that does not take into account the relational nature of the human person nor the fact the equality comes from God not man mistakes real equality for unjust egalitarianism.