Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Social Justice

Social justice means different things to different people. But generally speaking, most people who advocate for social justice do so in opposition to poverty, hate, sexism, racism, economic oppression, and authoritarianism (not necessarily totalitarianism). Conversely the same advocates would be in favor of equality for people of different cultures, sexual orientations, or religions. They also would favor more government control over equal distributions of wealth, over access to goods and services, and over the behavior of citizens (as long as it doesn't violate individual freedoms of speech).

In the mind of a social justice advocate the problems of mankind stem from being out of step with nature, being greedy, and being religiously dogmatic. These things are enemies to their plan of redemption. In some of their minds, we are products of evolutionary processes, so the goal of mankind is to get back in harmony with the natural. This means sexual revolution, preservation of the environment, the end of national borders (and war), and the proliferation of rights. Additionally, the practice of religion is to be seen as the experience of either culture or healthy lifestyles -- not as truth claims.

But do all social justice advocates see the world this way. No. The ones that don't tend to have a confused overarching worldview. For instance, in advocating for free speech, is it right to call black people "n--gers"? If not, what constitutes free speech? Who decides? A person with an inconsistent worldview would not know what to do with that. However, many do have a consistent worldview.

Those who advocate social justice argue from a consistent set of principles. I know, because I was one of them at one time. Just prior to becoming an advocate, I had an inconsistent worldview about these matters. I was against big corporations, but also against unemployment. I was for abortion, but against infanticide. Then for a time I began to develop a more consistent worldview when I decided that according to evolutionary theory, there are no overarching moral absolutes, just preferences. The enforcement of preferences by power was what made things true or false. Therefore, do whatever you want, for tomorrow you die.

Being an advocate became the natural reaction, because by power I can create the world the way I want it to be: a world absent of war, poverty, or pain, but present with happiness, love, and peace. Through power, or rather revolution of like-minded people, we can create this world.

But in 1986 it all changed for me. I became a Christian. Not religious. A Christian.

I accepted a Christian worldview because I found out that Jesus was a real person that really rose from the dead. Therefore, it became apparent to me that Jesus is God who visited humanity within history. I was confronted with a new, but remarkable reality. God really is. He really made us, and we are accountable to Him. Our problems stem, not from our divorce from nature, but rather our divorce from God. We went our own way and are suffering for that decision. God chose to redeem mankind by coming in history to pay for our sins with his life.

After doing so, the message had to spread so that people everywhere can experience salvation. But in order for people to experience this salvation, they must turn to God and accept the truth of the message -- this view of the world and the solution from God's perspective. Eventually, our redemption will be complete when Jesus comes back to remake the world for those who believe. A world free from war, pain, sorrow, and sickness. A world full of joy, laughter, and incredible love. A world where Jesus our God is King-- a righteous and benevolent King -- instead of self- indulgent people or governments. A world where we will live in true peace and safety -- not in fear of the self-centered and manipulators.

This view of reality is more and more entrenched into my psyche because I find on a daily basis that it is thoroughly consistent with my personal experiences and deepest longings. And it is consistent with the suffering we experience. It is also consistent with increasing knowledge, through science and discoveries, of our origins and universal environment. Finally, it is consistent with the evidence that we all intrinsically know something is wrong, and we want to fix it. Yet we have been unable to fix it throughout all of time. We are incapable, because we are part of the problem. We need help from outside of our decaying circumstances. We need a Savior.


  1. This is precisely why I find some of the rhetoric surrounding the Miers' nomination troubling. People like the President seem to be going out of their way to reassure people that her faith will not impact the way she rules on various issues. How can it not?

    It's supposed to!

    Christianity impacts absolutely every aspect of life -- including the way we think.

  2. John, I feel the same way. How she rules, or how we do our jobs should be impacted by what we say we believe. But no matter what side of the current issues people are on, they make the assumption that the basis we need to start from is a religiously "neutral" ground. This is a false idea. All our assumptions are based on something we believe to be ultimately true.