Thursday, February 26, 2015

Justice Depends on Who You Are

I read a story just a few minutes ago about a mother who got called into the school because her daughter punched a boy. He'd been snapping her bra strap and eventually unhooked it. When nothing else worked, the girl punched him. His parents and the school were horrified - at her actions, but not what he had done.

There was picture on Facebook earlier this morning with two pictures side by side, each of a different college graduate breastfeeding her baby. The black woman picture had a headline of how the image stirred up controversy, whereas the white woman received comments of how adorable the picture was. I couldn't find the picture, but did find an article about these photos.

And we've all heard the stories of cops who kill or get too rough, because they can - often being more violent with minorities. Or rich people who basically get off with a slap on the wrist for crimes that would land a poor person in prison, or dead.

Justice has been Perverted

Sexual assault, harassment, violence, murder, etc - they're all criminal acts. But how we dish out punishment for those acts has been perverted by the justice system. Those who are white, male, wealthy, and/or powerful get a slap on the wrist or people simply turn a blind eye to the actions. Blacks (or other minority races), females, the poor - they get harsher punishment, and even worse - are immediately assumed guilty, even of actions committed against them.

And we don't just see this in the criminal system. It's found everywhere. It's found in the way each of us treat others, as can be seen by the reactions and comments the two breastfeeding college graduates received.

Injustice is even found in our Churches!

I remember when I was a young teenager, being abused regularly by my parents, turning to the pastor at my church. He sided with my parents. He told me to honor them, and that I must have done something to deserve it; and then he told them everything I had said in confidence.

Or what about the priests, pastors, teachers, etc who molest young children? The acts of these supposedly Godly men are covered up, and the children are ignored.

Or what about how we, as Christians, treat those who are not Christian? Or who do not hold the same beliefs as we do (i.e. how many treat those who are gay Christians)? The treatment I have seen these people receive - which some Christians have actually claimed is 'justice' - is horrific. 

God's Justice

learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)
Throughout the Bible, we see God protecting the "minorities." We see Him consistently telling us to help and defend them. We see Him consistently smacking down those who are selfishly rich, arrogant, prideful, etc. We see His wrath being aimed at those whom our current justice system protects. We see His love and patience being aimed at those whom our current justice system condemns.

Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood (Amos 6:12)
James Burton Coffman quotes  Arnold C. Schultz (from the Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), p. 835) in a commentary on the Studylight website:
"There is a spiritual and moral order in the universe that is just as impossible to ignore as the natural order. It is as senseless to pervert justice as it is to expect horses to run on the rocks, or for oxen to plow on rock."
And yet this is exactly what we have done. And so long as we continue to pervert justice to fulfill the desires of the rich and powerful, we can never have peace in this world.

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