Last month I wrote a series of blogs dedicated to religion, a whole series of blogs dedicated to some basic, but yet fundamental, beliefs about religion and religious liberty. But, since this blog deals primarily with politics and current events I think I should get back to discussing that. But I feel a bridge is needed, stretching between the two concepts and leading back into the elections and the current threats we are facing from radical Islam and any number of other important political debates and points.
So in that vein is the discussion of Social Justice. It is a concept that, if you pay attention, you hear an awful lot lurking in the shadows. Its something that is effected and is influenced by religion, politics, and how we deal with everyone else around us.
But what is it? What is Social Justice? Well in basic language it is creating equality, it is doing things to promote equality in our society and in all of our social interactions. Monetary, economic status, equalizing the sexes or people of different orientations or almost any other aspect of our life. (Link)
In a nut shell that s it.
Sounds pretty good right? Shouldn’t we all be striving to create a more equal society, by any means necessary, where there is no or very little differences between us? Where no one is treated unfairly or has anything that could lead to conflict? Hmmmm
Well it depends.
But something caught my eye as I have been studying religion and trying to come up with new and unique ways of expressing information. A bit of the statement of the principles of Reform Judaism. (Link)
In it talks about how it is their belief that they should mandate the highest traditions of Judaism and the prophetic relationship with God by repairing the world. This includes the need for social justice:
We are obligated to pursue (tzedek), justice and righteousness, and to narrow the gap between the affluent and the poor,…
And while we should be concerned about the gap between the wealthy and the poor, the wealthy having all the power and the control while the poor have no options and no recourse, I do think that many people who complain about such things are missing the point. Especially those who would make it apart of their official statements that is the core of their very existence as an organization.
You see it is easier to destroy then to create. (Blog Link)
It is easier to take to take someone else’s money while trying to work to improve those below you. It usually doesn’t work out that way but that is the general intent. To take from the more affluent in some way to provide either that money or a service to the poor to try to be of benefit to them. Usually by Governmental action when you are talking about this kind of income distribution.
This almost never works as intended but it is easier.
But shouldn’t we be working to encourage everyone to improve their situations? Their lot in life? To work towards a goal and to better themselves? And not just in terms of money or the size of ones house either.
Because isn’t the pursuit of money solely for the pursuit of money something that is usually considered bad? Doesn’t it raise red flags? If the situations were reversed and we were talking about some unscrupulous businessman who was making money without a concern with the well being or dispensation of his employees, would you not react negatively? In fact these people are often vilified in pop culture and history books, and sometimes for very good reasons. See Scrooge, the robber barons, JP Morgan, and Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life.
How are you rising above the system and ignoring the greed and temptation and problems and evils of money if you are having someone steal it for you on your behalf?
If you want true Social Justice and to forge a more just, more equal, and more righteous world it starts with you. Not the Government. We may never achieve these goals but we can move in that general direction.
You can make the world a better place by working to better yourself then working to better others through your deeds and your actions. Through your materialistic possessions.
This really is it. Religion and religious obligations begin with you and your family. With individuals striving to fix things. Not with Governments or large institutions.
You pursue the definition of Charity and a just world that you want to see, and I shall do the same.