Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. —Psalm 89:14New INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
As I scan my daily news feed I see articles such as: “Why America Can’t Solve Homelessness”, “102-year-old California woman evicted so landlord’s daughter can move in”, “Retirement should not mean hardship – but many older Americans live in poverty”, “Trump is giving new meaning to the ‘War on Poverty’”’, “Trump Immigration Plan May Throw 4 Million People Off Immigrant Waiting Lists”, “Why the ‘Equality Act’ means a setback for women” ”Arizona Prisons’ Ban on Book About Racism in Criminal Justice Draws Challenge”, “NAACP panel: Problems larger than racism need to be addressed” and more.
Social justice issues happen on a global scale, meaning they affect people all over the world. They can also take place in society. “These issues are a consequence of unequal wealth and resource distribution, unfair treatment of people with diverse triats (race, culture, sextual orientation, religion, etc), and legislation that encourage segregation” (Wikipedia).
Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality, and can be defined as “the way in which human rights are manifested in the everyday lives of people at every level of society”. Does this definition infer socialism. I don’t believe it does.
The U. S. Declaration of Independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The U. S. Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
What happened to promoting the general welfare of our citizens? Something is amiss when a 102 year old woman is being evicted by law so a landlord’s daughter can move in the apartment or when elderly people have worked for years and struggle to pay there bills.
How does our legislators and legislation ensure constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when people are struggling just to survive? This nation has a hissy fit when gun control laws are attacked, yet no one is screaming about homelessness and poverty in this nation.
Many people are struggling to pay their bills, find adequate housing and health care or unable to take care of their families. People have a right to live in a fair and just society where they do not have to get by on a meager living especially once they are of age.
The concern for justice is an act of love, compassion and mercy. Divine justice involves God being merciful and compassionate.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
As the people of God, we are called to engage societal and cultural issues related to justice. The Lord expects nothing less from His children.
No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.