Jan 19 2010

Whose idea of “Social Justice”?

Category: left,societyharmonicminer @ 9:55 am

Reformed Pastor Kevin DeYoung has A Modest Proposal.

I’d like to make a modest proposal for Christians of all theological and political persuasions: don’t use the term “social justice” without explanation.

The term is unassailable to some and arouses suspicion in others. For many Christians, social justice encompasses everything good we should be doing in the world, from hunger relief to serving the poor to combating sex trafficking. But the phrase is also used to support more debatable matters like specific health care legislation, minimum wage increases, or reducing carbon emissions. If something can be included as a “social justice” issue then no one can oppose said issue, because who in their right mind favors social injustice?

So begins an interesting article (read it all) that makes the very simple point that “social justice” is not well-defined.  It is not a friendly term, nor a particularly honest one. That’s because just about anything that anyone thinks society “should do” can be called a matter of “social justice.”  It is a term designed to stop discussion, because who can be against “justice” of any kind?

More pointedly, it is a term that is used mostly by people who want the government to do something, generally something broadly redistributive, or some exercise of government power to force people to do something “for society” that they don’t want to do.

A few questions will make the point.

1)  Why isn’t the epidemic of unwed birth since LBJ’s “great society” programs began considered to be a matter of social justice? This is especially so since the best way to be a poor child in the USA is to be the child of a mother who is not married to the father. That’s also the best way to wind up in jail.

2)  Why isn’t protecting the lives of the unborn a matter of social justice?

3)  Why isn’t the unavailability of jobs for poor American citizens, due to illegal aliens taking the jobs, considered to be a matter of social justice?

4)  Why isn’t the negative effect on school performance brought on by the flood of children of illegal aliens in our schools, a negative effect which degrades the quality of education received by the children of American citizens, considered to be a matter of social justice?

You get the idea. Some things are matters of “social justice” in the minds of those who are fond of the term. Some things aren’t.

But the distinction has nothing whatsoever to do with “justice,” and has everything to do with Leftism.

When Leftist Christians use the term “social justice,” and specifically exclude the first two questions above, the smokescreen is suddenly very easy to see through.