Have you noticed how fashionable the concept of justice is? It seems like everyone wants justice! We see people holding signs and chanting “No justice, no peace!” Or we hear people described as “social justice activists” or “social justice warriors.” In the name of justice we see people demonstrate. We also see them commit lawless acts of looting, rioting and occupying property or government buildings. With all this activity, we also see counter demonstrators who denounce the group seeking justice as, ironically, unjust. What a mess — all of this in the name of justice!
Does it remind you of a playground where all the kids are screaming at each other? Each side points fingers and yells, “Not fair!” Name calling begins, including cries of “cheater!” Just as sorting out who’s right on the playground requires some effort, we also need some effort to sort through all the adults in society who are claiming their particular cause is just.
Where do we begin? Well, we begin by remembering that to be right or just, something must meet the external standards of ethics and lawfulness, not simply reflect personal opinion or prejudice. Second, the methods of seeking justice must meet the same standards. Grievances against the government and opposition to injustice in our society are good causes, but must be expressed through ethical and lawful means.
Remember, whatever is right conforms to the high standards of ethics and lawfulness.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.