Saturday, March 17, 2007

What is Social Justice?

I've got a few questions for you.

1. What is social justice?

2. Where did you personally first hear about social justice?

3. Besides "everyone," who or what groups (organizations) should be most interested in social justice?


Chris said...

social justice is the redistrubition of income so that all are equally miserable. The two main groups interested in this are the socialist and communists.

Matt said...

These are solely from my point of view:
1. "Social justice" is the sense of justice in which the marginalized are restored to a respected, equal place in society.

2. I first became aware of the terms during a college class on the gospel of Luke.

3. Anyone claiming to be a Christian should be interested in social justice. It is a concept that lies at the heart of God's redemptive movement in the world.

Chris said...


How would you go about making everyone equal?

Fajita said...

I am no political scientist, but best as I recall, socialism and communism are political and economic systems. And yes, social justice has appeared in language used by people who support those systems.

However, there is a baby in the bathwather Chris appears to be throwing out.

Chris asks a good question, "How would you go about making everyone equal?"

There appear to be a few false assumptions in the question - if I am readin it right - that I would like to address.

assumption #1: If a goal is not achievable in its totality it is not significant and therefore it is not worthy of any time, energy, resources or effort.

Response: This kind of cynicism never helped anyone but the elite who wish to remain elite - damn the rest.

assumption #2: There is a certain measure of equality that all people aspire to.

Response: It might sound crazy, but not everyone wants to own a home in the suburbs with 2 SUVs in the driveway. For some people, their American Dream is having enough resources to be able to live in the same place for more than a few months, to have any reliabkle tranportation, to ahve a jobs that is fair in its pay and work conditions, to have access to decent health care, and to have some form of reliable transportation. Some people just want to be respected. Some people, had they gotten some respect and people had some confidence in them, would be working and would not be in jail.

assumption #3: The purpose of having social privilege is to maintain or increase it.

Response: What might be true in extreme and pure white American capitalism is not true of religion. As much as socialism and communism are an affront to much of Christian beliefs, American capitalism is as well, and maybe even more so. The whole purpose of wealth, position, status, power, and privilege, from a Christian perspective, is to use it for others, to give it away, to invest it for the gain of the community and NOT to increase it for the sake of increasing it.

If a Christian is not asking himself or herself, "How can I use my position, power, wealth, status and privilege, for the benefit of those in need?" is not actually doing what Jesus said is good to do.

OK, I'll shut up.