The Truth About…Politics (Part 3)

As we continue to examine politics, it is worth noting that some believe our government’s policies and goals should be focused on social justice. Now, what is meant by “social justice”?

Social justice means justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. This term is commonly used today, and it is important to understand its underlying assumptions.

First, humans are good and perfectible. All worldviews teach that regarding people except Christianity; our religion is the only one which declares the truth of our condition—we are sinners who continually do wrong. In contrast, all other worldviews say we’re good, not sinful. But if we’re basically good, why is there evil and suffering? This question leads to social justice’s second assumption.

According to this view, the problem of evil comes from the majority or those in power in a society. People are good, so if there are problems, it must be from the most populous group of people that inhabit the society, or from those who hold influence in society: rich people, those politically connected, etc.

These assumptions lead to the goals for government according to social justice adherents: redistribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society so all get justice.

Using the United States as the example, this worldview says any group in the majority is the problem, causing injustice and inequality in our society. The “circle of oppression” is an illustration that is often used to explain the causes of evil in society. The assumption is that whites, Christians, males, English speakers, wealthy, able-bodied, and heterosexuals are the “oppressors” since they are either in the majority or are in positions of power. The other people in the “circle of oppression” (non-whites, non-Christians, females, non-English speakers, middle and lower income earners, non-able bodied, and homosexuals) are “oppressed” and need special treatment to achieve the same opportunities and privileges that the “oppressors” have.

Since more people are talking about these concepts in social justice, you’ll hear more about “Christian privilege” in the future. The belief is that Christianity stands in way of abortion, gay rights, physician-assisted suicide, etc. The “privilege” of Christianity needs to be removed.

This is why there are law schools discussing the following laws in order to change them and do away with “Christian privilege.” Catholic colleges “discriminate” against women since there are no priests in the Catholic Church. Religious freedom should be limited for churches if they do not conform to the new consensus among the people on issues like gay marriage. Tax exemption should be removed from congregations since these organizations serve no public good and therefore shouldn’t get special rights.

While these and other similar changes to laws will be discussed, remember that all if these flow from a worldview with its underlying assumptions and beliefs. And as the culture goes, so goes the law. Law follows culture. We may want to avoid politics, but these policies and goals of government will affect you whether you want to be involved or not.

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March 17, 2015

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