Fill-in-the-blank Justice

This morning, I read something about fill-in-the-blank Justice. You know, these terms we hear so often that qualify Justice; this kind or that kind of Justice. I get what they’re trying to say, but if you have to put a qualifier on Justice, it isn’t really Justice.

To do so rips the blindfold off of Justice. She no longer holds a set of balanced scales; she now has a finger on one side. She’s looking at the situation, and gauging who’s who and what’s what. Some might argue that this is to offset INjustices that have occurred, and I get that. But continuing to call it Justice when it has a qualifier isn’t right. Call it something else, but don’t call it Justice.

Justitia by Maarten van Heemskerk, 1556

In an interesting bit of synchronicity, today’s “Verse of the Day” in my Bible Gateway app (love that app) is Matthew 7:12:

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Yes, that does sum it up. Sadly, we humans don’t always do that, which is why we have human laws and courts, and statues and depictions of Justice as blind. The prophet Isaiah wrote “Learn to do right; seek justice, defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17) Injustice is as old as humanity. Yes, we should all seek Justice, and do whatever we can to help the cause of those who are truly oppressed.

We also might miss the first thing that Isaiah says: Learn to do right. Again, like what Jesus said later, do the right thing. It’s that simple.

I read the “____ Justice” treatise in a statement issued by a large corporation, stating that they were making donations to entities and groups that fight specific injustices. That’s nice to know, although they don’t state exactly who they are donating to, and how they have vetted the organization(s). How they are just at home? How do they treat their employees? Do they treat their employees with respect? Is “treat others as you would like to be treated” a real part of their corporate culture? Is it in their employee handbook? Is be kind and fair treatment something they really take to heart and act upon every day, at all levels?

I think mosst people in this country do try to do the right thing. Sure, we’re human, and sometimes we falter and fail. But overall, most of us regular folks are trying to live out Jesus’ words of treating others as they would want to be treated. Most of us aren’t scheming to oppress an underclass or undertake a nefarious takeover of a company or a country.

It’s been said that those who loudly accuse are often the guiltiest of that which they accuse others of doing. I could expound on that, but I’ll refrain because there are plenty of examples out there. Just think about it, and remember that the next time you hear someone screaming about fill-in-the-blank Justice.