What of Justice?

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An amazing thing seems to be happening as a result of the culture of tolerance: justice seems to be losing ground. Interestingly, at the same time, vengeance seems on the rise.

Why do I associate “tolerance” with these two? In part because of Proverbs 1. In the book’s prelude, Solomon gives his reasons for issuing these truth statements. One such is for “instruction in wise behavior,/righteousness, justice and equity” (emphasis mine).

In the next sections Solomon defines and describes knowledge and wisdom, declaring that the starting point of both knowledge and wisdom is to hold God in awe. By extension, that means the starting point of justice is to hold God in awe.

But we live in a tolerant society in which God is not held in awe. He is the one person who is not tolerated. Not in government, in the schools, in the work place, and some say He should not be allowed to enter into the decisions citizens make regarding public policy.

Should we be surprised, then, at a loss of justice in our land?

But perhaps a loss of justice doesn’t seem apparent. Let me mention a couple things. Last night there was a reality TV show that created troubling situations in public places, then filmed people reacting. Some ignored the situation, others stepped in and did what they could to help.

One situation was a baby (actually a life-like doll) in a locked car. Many people were troubled and even called the police (who were in on the setup). When asked why, they said a life was at stake.

Later in the show, they repeated the situation with a dog. Again, people got involved and did what they could to rescue the animal. When asked why, they again said a life was at stake.

And yet, abortion is legal in our country, and people who “create a scene” as these folks did to save the baby, to save the dog, are painted as extremists and troublemakers. Would any of the people in those clips have said about abortion, A life is at stake? But they would say this about a dog. Where is equity in our land?

One other. Our courts. I ranted about this a couple years ago. No longer do the courts even pretend to be about discovering truth in a criminal case. The “trial” is all about convincing the jury one way or the other. If a guilty person gets off, the defense attorney says he did his job, which was to push the prosecution to create an air tight case, and they failed.

If an innocent person is convicted, apparently there is little recourse. It’s hard to get out of an air tight case, even if the “facts” are based on lies, as some have discovered when victims who lied have recanted or when recently retrieved DNA evidence counters the previous findings.

But where is our outrage? Why are we not picketing the streets demanding a return to the concept of justice? In some respects, it seems we have given up hope of finding justice within the system. Hence the rise of revenge. Revenge movies had a hey day for a while, and steadily that thinking has spilled over into our personal attitudes. Road rage and payback are just expressions of individuals wanting to get even. Wanting justice.

Sadly, our society seems to have bought into the idea that truth is in the eye of the beholder. But that shouldn’t be a surprise because the beginning of knowledge and wisdom has gone by the wayside.

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 10:51 am  Comments (8)  
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