The society opposes discrimination against people on the basis of race, gender, or religion

As we explained in chapter 8, it is important for an economically productive society to guarantee the freedom for all citizens to be educated; freedom for women as well as men to work and own businesses and property; and freedom for people from all racial, national, religious, and ethnic backgrounds to participate fully in the economy and have all the rights the society affords. Too often nations have discriminated on the basis of race, gender, or religion, typically producing harmful consequences for economic development.

However, if non-discrimination is actually going to work in a nation, it is important that it be upheld not only by laws, but also by the cultural beliefs of the people. At this point, the Bible’s teachings on the equality of all people before God are important. The Bible shows that all human beings are descended from Adam and Eve, our first parents, as indicated in Genesis 1-2. Therefore, every human being shares in the exalted status of being “in the image of God” (see Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6; James 3:9). That means that no one should be thought to be superior or inferior to others because of his or her racial background, gender, or religion.

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