I write this waiting for the verdict of 2 badged thugs that killed a homeless man. Twitter, of course, is anxious for a verdict. As am I. But in the down time, it is hard to avoid the topic of Justice. What is justice? How is justice achieved? What happens when justice does not win out?
As a Christian, I value justice. The prophet Micah wrote long ago:
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Sounds like 3 very solid virtues. Ones that I try to live by and ones that I try to model.
But what happens when we see injustice? And who gets to determine what is just, and what is not? Again, for the Christian, this is easy to answer. Our God is just, His actions are just, and in that I take tremendous comfort. But for others, the concept of justice seems to be a moving target. Let me give you 2 examples.
First-for the last 100 years, this country has decided to criminalize the smoking of plant. That is, society has declared that smoking marijuana is a criminal act that needs be punished. As a private property advocate, I disagree. Being one that reads the Bible and believes it to be God’s word, I find it interesting that the Bible is relatively silent on the issue. Certainly drugs existed while the Bible was being penned. Yet, the issue is never directly addressed. And if the Bible is not interested in addressing it, than I for one cannot get behind the idea that the smoking of a plant is criminal. I would even go so far as to declare that the imprisonment of smoking a plant is an example of injustice. A sad, nasty indictment of those that would love to legislate morality.
Second-almost 100 years ago, Mary the elephant was hung. For murder. I am not making this up…google ‘Mary the elephant’ for yourself and you will find plenty of sources that will back me up. In my mind, another clear example of injustice. For no other reason than the fact that assigning the moral judgement of ‘murderer’ to an elephant is ludicrous.
I have no idea what the jury in Santa Ana, CA will decide. But based on the previous examples, placing hope in a jury is never a wise move. I believe that Kelly Thomas was murdered. By the very police that swore to protect and serve him. Justice may start here for them, if not, it most certainly will in an eternal sense. In that, I find peace.
I also find peace in knowing that any justice that God could have shown me was placed on His Son who so lovingly took my place. The more I ponder that, the more overwhelmed I become.