There ain’t no justice any more?

Tricky one this, what’s Justice and where is it? It’s something I’ve thought about, on and off, for a lot of years. I even wrote a story, Justice 4.1, about it. Yes it’s Sci-Fi and yes it’s an adventure story. But the question that has to be faced is Justice and how to make sure it happens. And then is what then happens, just?

Sounds awfully pious, sorry about that, because it isn’t.

restorative justice

But still, I picked the name ‘Justice 4.1’ because it hints that Justice has been through an awful lot of versions and they’re still trying to get it right; which sums it up for all of us really.

What brought this about? A Canadian friend posted this link

Now I’ve never heard of the chap before, he’s a Canadian on trail in Jakarta, it would be unusual if I had. I don’t know the rights and wrongs but I do know that in today’s paper it mentioned in passing that in the UK one in five teachers are wrongly accused by pupils, and one in seven are wrongly accused by parents.

And today I also read piece by Charles Moore. He had taken Easter as his theme and he commented “But the essential point is that people like punishing and killing other people, and they particularly like doing so in a form that clothes this desire in the righteous robes of justice.”

There does seem to be a culture of ‘Cross me and you’ll suffer.’ If you’re the teacher a pupil doesn’t like, or whose opinion of a pupil doesn’t suit the parents, then they’ll make damn sure you’ll suffer.

The culture now seems to dictate that the person whose belief clashes with that of a dominant group is automatically written off as Untermensch. They’re ‘red necks’, ‘that bigoted woman’, little Englanders’, worshippers of the sky pixie, whatever.

And if that belief undermines theirs, casts doubt on the rationality of it, then the believer must be eliminated. A hasty kangaroo court and a swift and vicious execution is too good for them.

That’s probably why I feel that Christianity is best when it’s not the belief of the dominant group. The whole concept of servant ministry is undermined by dominance. You cannot speak for the voiceless when you’re the one with your foot on their necks. A pilgrim people cannot rule and keep moving.

If you believe that the culture is wrong, then you have to be counter-cultural. There is a price to be paid, but hopefully it only had to be paid once.

Have a Happy Easter


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11 thoughts on “There ain’t no justice any more?

  1. keirarts April 5, 2015 at 7:50 am Reply

    Still believe the one thing America got right was separation of church and state. Now they are forgetting it they seem to be implementing vague and stupid laws like the religious freedom act in Indiana. The real joke of it is that America always had religious freedom, it was just that the idea was that religion was something personal and private and not for the state to interfere in so long as it was not interfering in the freedoms of others. A tricky balance at best that Republican lawmakers have just decimated.

    • jwebster2 April 5, 2015 at 8:16 am Reply

      I think it’s a reaction to an attitude. If you tell people that what they believe is unimportant and they’re stupid for believing it, don’t expect them to like you or take it lying down. We saw a clash of belief systems in this country with the miners strike. I suspect that American is running into problems because of bigotry on both sides. Neither side is willing to allow the other side to just get on with their lives and stick with their beliefs.

  2. keirarts April 5, 2015 at 10:40 am Reply

    I don’t know. I think you may be partly right. I think the problem was that the more extremist elements of the Christian movement were quite content keeping themselves to themselves. The turning point seems to have been when George bush snr decided they would make an excellent voting base. He didn’t count on them wanting something for their votes. The fundamentalists held quite similar views back in the 70’s and evenbefore that, they’re just far more vocal now. The big difference is their voice is now being heard in government to the detriment of other belief systems and lifestyles. Equally the atheist/secular movement always had its fringe, intolerant elements but as Creationism creeps into American classrooms and more and more politicians are invoking jesus for votes the secularists seem to becoming more intolerant as a result. It seems to be polarising the country into a them and us mentality that’s becoming toxic.

    • jwebster2 April 5, 2015 at 6:35 pm Reply

      I suspect there is another level to it. A lot of the ‘mid-west’, or the ‘fly-over’ states are culturally ‘conservative’. They’ve also had two or three generations of being sneered at by those living in ‘liberal’ coastal states. Given that, as one example, a very high proportion of white boys who got drafted for Vietnam came from the mid-west and the liberal elite provided a fair proportion of the draft-dodgers, I suspect there is contempt at so many levels.
      In many of these states church-going and a ‘folk Christianity’ is part of their identity, and they’re perhaps reacting to having their identity attacked. It may be that George Bush snr was so successful because he was one of the few politicians who bothered to reach out to these areas.
      Yes the fundamentalists then demand something for the votes they ‘deliver’. But as with Islamic ‘community leaders’ in the UK, if you eliminate electoral fraud, very few ‘fundamentalists’ of any shade can actually deliver the votes. So you get Americans who dislike abortion, but who dislike the antics of the anti-abortionists even more.

  3. rootsandroutes2012 April 4, 2021 at 2:13 pm Reply

    “in the UK one in five teachers are wrongly accused by pupils, and one in seven are wrongly accused by parents.” I wonder whether anyone has checked out the extent of the overlap between the families of wrongly-accusing parents and wrongly-accusing children. I would think it’s likely to be considerable. Incidentally, I’m a little surprised to have a post from April 2015 plop into my inbox today (4/4/2021).

  4. jwebster2 April 4, 2021 at 3:20 pm Reply

    I reposted it onto facebook as I thought it was worth it looking back at, but I never reposted it to word press

  5. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 4, 2021 at 8:00 pm Reply

    Once you have the numbers to force people to follow your religion, it isn’t a religion any more – it’s a cult. We started small, and we can handle more – but with difficulty.

    I just don’t know if I would have had the sense to follow Christ for His message.

    • jwebster2 April 5, 2021 at 4:29 am Reply

      The message only makes sense when you see it lived out.
      The twelve had the advantage that to them it was obvious, and even they struggled.
      The rest of us have to make sense of a message being lived out now

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 5, 2021 at 4:57 am

        The message has always been what made everything else real for me. It is too right for that to be accidental. The message is there for us – some people actually struggle to try to follow it. The failures are so glaring you sometimes wonder, but it is possible to compare what is said and lived to what was recorded, and see where they deviate. With a lot of humility, of course.

      • jwebster2 April 5, 2021 at 5:02 am

        Yes the humility is important

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