“With Liberty and Justice For All“
Ever think about those words? Better yet, ever think about what those words would really look like, if they were actually a reality? I do, and the more traveling I have gotten to do, the more I am understanding just how narrow our view of “All” is in our North American context.
Does it mean “all” who are in a place of financial plenty? “All” who are within our mainstream culture? “All” who are within our borders, or truly “All” of our brothers and sisters – fellow human beings across the planet?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that our ideal of “Liberty and Justice For All” doesn’t exactly play out in real life. The tragedy of our modern day though, as it appears to me, is that so many people stop at merely identifying and criticizing this ideological hypocrisy, rather than taking the next step to actually do something to change it. This, I believe, is our right and our duty. It is our joy and privilege, because human rights are our human responsibility.
While many would readily agree with this on a humanitarian level, I’m going to take it one step deeper. On a spiritual level, I’ll give you two verses – one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament – so that both Jews and Christians can get in on the action as well.
In Micah 6:8, the prophet writes, “He has shown you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? But to do JUSTLY, love MERCY, and walk HUMBLY with your God.”
And in 1 John 3:17-18, the apostle John writes, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us love not merely in words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
So you see, justice is not merely a noble cause or a lofty ideal – it is our mandate. It is our human responsibility, and in a sense, it is our redemption.
So for me, after all of this writing and on-line blabbing, the answer to the question is quite simple: “Why Justice?”
It’s because it is what I was made for … And so were you. Will you join me?