Injustice—Thoughts On The Eve Of The Fourth Of July



I originally wrote this post in 2012, but not much has changed, so I’ve made some revisions and am re-posting. After all, the main point that becomes clear at the end of the article, is timeless.

– – – – –

Injustice? We’re all against it, aren’t we? No one is willing to stand up and say, I think we should band together in support of injustice. That’s not going to happen.

And yet injustice keeps climbing to the top. It’s Hitler or Uganda’s General Idi Amin, Chairman Mao, the Roman emperors, the corrupt Church of the Middle Ages, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Or the American government today.

OK, I know that’s not a popular thing to say, especially as the US is about to celebrate the Fourth of July—our Independence Day—but why should Americans think we’re immune to injustice in government?

I know a lot of Christians think the US is blessed because our government is founded on the bedrock of Christian principles, but that’s only true to an extent. As our detractors are quick to point out, “all men are created equal” referred, at the time it was written, only to men and only to white men. That’s a fact.

I’m not of the school that thinks we ought to start handing out reparations to African-Americans or giving land back to Native Americans or to Mexico. Neither am I of the school that believes the evils of slavery or the land-grabs of the 19th century (1) didn’t happen; or (2) were good.

All that to say, from our early history America hasn’t been a paradigm of the just nation. But I’m concerned for today, understanding that what’s gone before has had its effect on where we are now.

Six years ago the news here in the Los Angeles Basin included a segment about some tax called the gross tax (isn’t all tax gross 😆 ) that the City is lifting on car dealerships. The point is to create a climate that is friendly to Ford, Nissan, GM, et al. so that they’ll bring their business back to LA.

But what about other businesses, the astute reporter asked. Why only car dealerships? Oh, the Mayor answered, car dealerships will bring in a substantial amount of revenue through sales tax, so that’s why we’re favoring them.

OK, I added the “favoring” part, but that’s what it is, isn’t it? Other businesses who don’t have the lobbying power or the promise of greasing the City’s coffers significantly will just have to grin and pay the gross tax. Is that just?

Or what about what’s going on in Washington, D. C.? The notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in a rebroadcast of “The lobbyist’s playbook,” a 60 Minutes segment that first aired in November, 2011, did a tell-all that exposed the illegal practices rampant in our Congress, all connected with bribery, some legal and some illegal. Yes, you read that correctly, some legal bribery.

And we wonder why so little meaningful business gets done in our Federal government. We moan and wring our hands about problems that Congress pretty much ignores because no one is sliding money over or under the table to get the necessary legislation started.

Here’s part of Abramoff’s exchange with Lesley Stahl:

Abramoff: At the end of the day most of the people that I encountered who worked on Capitol Hill wanted to come work on K Street, wanted to be lobbyists.

Stahl: You’re telling me this, the genius of figuring out you could own the office by offering a job to the chief of staff, say. I’m having two reactions. One is brilliant. And the other is I’m sick to my stomach.

Abramoff: Right. Evil. Yeah. Terrible.

Stahl: ‘Cause it’s hurting our country.

Abramoff: Shameful. Absolutely. It’s the worst thing that could happen. All parts of the system. (60 Minutes transcript or video)

I could go on—why, for example, do oil companies get government subsides? What are we doing to stop the banks from gamboling with our money? What became of the General Services Administration (GSA) scandal uncovered just prior to the FBI scandal?

Why do I bring all this up? Because if American Christians don’t see the truth about our nation—we’re just like everyone else—we aren’t going to pray for fundamental change: the revolution that needs to happen in the hearts of people.

It’s great that we have concern for those without Christ living in far away places, but it’s past time we show concern for the lost right here in our backyard. We are a nation in which, apparently, 90% of the people believe in heaven, but only 8% believe the Bible to be true and Jesus to be who He said He was.

And we wonder about injustice in America.

Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for money
And the needy for a pair of sandals. (Amos 2:6)

Advertisements
Published in: on July 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Injustice


We’re all against it, aren’t we? Who’s willing to stand up and say, I think we should band together in support of injustice? That’s not going to happen, and yet injustice keeps climbing to the top. It’s Hitler or Uganda’s General Idi Amin, Chairman Mao, the Roman emperors, the corrupt Church of the Middle Ages. And the American government today.

OK, I know that’s not a popular thing to say, especially after the US just celebrated the Fourth of July–our Independence Day–but why should Americans think we’re immune?

I know a lot of Christians think the US is blessed because our government is founded on the bedrock of Christian principles, but that’s only true to an extent. As our detractors are quick to point out, “all men are created equal” referred only to Men and only to White Men. That’s a fact

I’m not of the school that thinks we ought to start handing out reparations to African-Americans or giving land back to Native American Indians or to Mexico, for that matter. Neither am I of the school that believes either those things (1) didn’t happen or (2) were good.

All that to say, from our early history America hasn’t been a paradigm of the just nation. But I’m concerned for today, understanding that what’s gone before has had its effect on where we are now.

Last night’s news here in the Los Angeles Basin included a segment about some tax called the gross tax (isn’t all tax gross 😆 ) that the City is lifting on car dealerships. The point is to create a climate that is friendly to Ford, Nissan, GM, et al. so that they’ll bring their business back to LA.

But what about other businesses, the astute reporter asked. Why only car dealerships? Oh, the Mayor answered, car dealerships will bring in a substantial amount of revenue through sales tax, so that’s why we’re favoring them. OK, I added the “favoring” part, but that’s what it is, isn’t it? Other businesses who don’t have the lobbying power or the promise of greasing the City’s coffers significantly will just have to grin and pay. Is that just?

Or what about what’s going on in Washington, D. C.? The notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in a rebroadcast of “The lobbyist’s playbook,” a 60 Minutes segment that first aired last November, did a tell-all that exposed the illegal practices rampant in our Congress, all connected with bribery, some legal and some illegal.

And we wonder why so little meaningful business gets done in our Federal government. We moan and wring our hands about problems that Congress pretty much ignores because no one is sliding money over or under the table to get the necessary legislation started.

Here’s part of Abramoff’s exchange with Lesley Stahl:

Abramoff: At the end of the day most of the people that I encountered who worked on Capitol Hill wanted to come work on K Street, wanted to be lobbyists.

Stahl: You’re telling me this, the genius of figuring out you could own the office by offering a job to the chief of staff, say. I’m having two reactions. One is brilliant. And the other is I’m sick to my stomach.

Abramoff: Right. Evil. Yeah. Terrible.

Stahl: ‘Cause it’s hurting our country.

Abramoff: Shameful. Absolutely. It’s the worst thing that could happen. All parts of the system. (60 Minutes transcript or video)

I could go on — why, for example, do oil companies get government subsides? What are we doing to stop the banks from gamboling with our money? What became of the General Services Administration (GSA) scandal uncovered just prior to the FBI scandal?

Why do I bring all this up? Because if American Christians don’t see the truth about our nation–we’re just like everyone else–we aren’t going to pray for fundamental change, the revolution that needs to happen in the hearts of people.

It’s great that we have concern for those without Christ living in far away places, but it’s past time we show concern for the lost right here in our backyard. We are a nation in which, apparently, 90% of the people believe in heaven, but only 8% believe the Bible to be true and Jesus to be who He said He was.

And we wonder about injustice in America.

Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment,
Because they sell the righteous for money
And the needy for a pair of sandals. (Amos 2:6)

Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Carmageddon?


Armageddon or Har Megiddo (and variant spellings of both) references the final battle leading up to the end of the world and God’s judgment (See Revelation 16). But someone in the gaming world co-opted the term and turned it into “Carmageddon,” the name of a violent vehicular combat video game.

Now that word has been hijacked. Here in Southern California someone in Cal Trans (the transportation arm of state government) or the media used it to describe a condition feared by many: the shut down of a major freeway.

National news services are carrying this story. I just read a Tweet from someone living east of the Mississippi wishing us well. After all, some reports have traffic snarled in gridlock from Los Angeles to San Diego. But hold on. You haven’t heard all of it.

This freeway closure is happening over the weekend, when most people don’t have to go to work. What’s more, the entire 405 freeway isn’t closed. Only a ten mile stretch. Ten miles!

Just to put things in perspective, out here, ten miles is nothing. I drive ten miles to church every week. I used to drive seven miles to work every day (which of course made it a fourteen mile round trip). Places are far apart out west, so ten miles is a short stretch — a mere ten minutes if freeway traffic is flowing somewhere near the speed limit.

And this short stretch of freeway being closed for a short period of time, on a weekend, has been dubbed carmageddon. Car apocalypse! The traffic gridlock to end all traffic for all time (until Monday morning).

Besides the obvious overkill of the phrase, I’m disturbed by this silliness. First, to employ a term that evokes thoughts of the end of the world shows the perspective of our society — it isn’t sin or evil that we’re battling. It’s whatever might inconvenience us for a weekend. That’s what brings the world to an end.

As a corollary, there’s a tongue-in-cheek implication that we don’t have to worry about an actual Armageddon as part of God’s judgment on the world. It’s all myth, and therefore the term is fair game if we want to play with it, tweak it, and make it strike horror of a not-so-horrible nature.

It’s as if the person who coined Carmageddon is saying, God? Judgment? The end of the world? Get real. The serious matter at hand is what threatens our roads. This religious stuff is fodder for us to use to draw a figurative image.

It chills me to realize that God’s Holy Word is being treated by our culture in the same way that we treat Greek mythology — as a book filled with stories about made up people and pretend gods.

I wonder how many Southlanders mouthing concern over “carmaggedon” have the slightest idea that there is a just God who will one day bring judgment on the earth.

We focus our attention on the most ridiculous concerns. Last week it was “the Royals” visiting LA. This week it’s “carmaggedon.” Next week will be something else.

Perhaps it’s all a smokescreen to keep us from looking at the serious business we have with God at some point in the future, either personally or cataclysmically.

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: