Is social justice a valid concept?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Botolph, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's your experience and no one can dispute it. Can you describe in a little more detail exactly what has happened to your family?

    My data point is, other than a couple of very old bigoted relatives who've since died (one made it to 105), I haven't known people who demonstrated bigotry against minorities. The churches I've been in have been multiracial, and everyone acted loving and welcoming toward everyone else. I work in a multiracial environment that includes blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, and I only see people being treated like ordinary, decent humans.

    I think the US has done a tremendous job of reducing racial injustice over the past 50 years, a much better job than some other countries. Keep in mind that way more than 1/2 of our current black residents came to this country voluntarily, and they continue to come because they see the US as a land of opportunity for them. My wife and I became friends with and socialized with a black couple and their 3 sons; they moved to the US from Nova Scotia and would tell us stories about how much worse they were treated there than here. My wife did a stint in the '70s as a summer exchange student to West Germany, and she says some of the Germans she knew were so bigoted they'd literally call black people "monkeys" and throw bananas at them. I don't know if they are still that way now, but I can say I've never seen anything of the sort in the past 4 decades in the US.

    As for criminal sentencing lengths, I'd guess that income disparity might be a factor: those who can't afford a lawyer and wind up with a public defender might be the ones who ultimately receive longer sentences overall.

    There will always be some idiots out there who haven't gotten the memo that racism and bigotry aren't okay. The unfortunate thing is, any time these idiots act out (uncharacteristically), the media's reaction is to say, "See, these incidents prove the existence of systemic racism," even though they may just be isolated incidents. If it's as bad as the media and certain politicized groups say it is, I wonder why I'm not seeing it personally on a regular basis.
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It depends where you live in the US I guess. It's a big place.

    I haven't personally witnessed actual racism anywhere I have been in the UK, but a glance at a few Twitter account time lines, noting the origin of the account holders, convinces me it is alive and well here too. I was also brought up in a church which broadly welcomed all colours and races and treated folks with respect, but it was not in an area or region with large numbers of different ethnic groups.

    I think that makes a huge difference to our personal experience of reality in that place and most of us tend to be rather parochial in our outlook unless very well travelled.
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would be curious to know where Holly Joy lives. Big city? Small town? What region?

    Here in the Tulsa OK area, we do have a larger concentration of practicing Christians than, say, on the east or west coasts.
     
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    While social justice has some meritorious ideas, it's crucial for us as Christians to recognize that the concept of social justice is not a specifically Christian concept. It is rooted in humanism and in relatively modern ideas about society and morality. For example, there is nothing in Christianity about 'getting one's due from society,' but this is a basic tenet of social justice. Therefore, it seems a terrible mistake to associate social justice with the Gospel message or with our relationships with God; instead, social justice is about our human interrelationships with each other.

    Although some scripture verses have been mentioned which seem to support the concept, we must remember that even Satan quoted scripture (but misapplied it) in an attempt to deceive Jesus. Likewise, since social justice stands apart from Christianity and only shares a couple of incidental interests or characteristics (perhaps by happenstance), I think that applying those scriptures in an attempt to support the proposition (that social justice is a Christian concept) is erroneous and deceptive.

    Although we are not Romans, we may occasionally find some wise thoughts in the writings of the RCC. In the Vatican II document, On the Care of Souls and Communism, it says that many people, though not adherents of communist doctrines, in effect (and even unwittingly) lend practical support for the communist cause because “they regard it as an effective way to bring about the perfect establishment of social justice, and, in fact, for obtaining a better salary or wage for less work, for receiving an equal part of the division and distribution of wealth and material goods, and for living a more comfortable and easier life. However, those who [do so]... are mistaken.” Apparently the Cardinals viewed social justice as a useful tool of the Communists to dupe and manipulate the masses, and they undertook to warn against it.
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I am in broad agreement with everything you have written here. The faith of Christ and therefore the message of HIS Church is only 'political' in that it criticises and affects the politics of repression, greed and enslavement to 'world think'. Christ's preaching therefore posed a threat to the cosy relationship between the Jewish Priesthood and The Roman Empire, but Jesus was not a politician, he was a Saviour who championed the cause of the oppressed without violently attacking their oppressors. His methods precluded that, and if we are to be 'like him' ours must too.
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