Your point is?

Posted 12 March 2010 by

On Facebook, I posted a link to “Take Action: Tell Glenn Beck: I’m a Social Justice Christian” on the Sojourner’s website. I introduced the link with these words, “Instead of being LDS, sometimes I think Glenn Beck is on LSD.”

I was surprised to find a response from a college friend. If I remember correctly, it was the first time he responded to something on my Facebook wall.

Bob, social justice is codeword for destruction of liberty–using the coercive power of government to loot some for the benefit of others. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can expect Paul’s full support–paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw.

Honestly, my first thought after thinking “he posted something” was simple.

Your point is?

I admit his comment is provoking. There is a chance he posted these words simply to see how I would respond. He could have hoped that my underlying nature from my reddish hair would provide some entertainment.

Being older, I may not provide the same level of entertainment anymore. I have also come to recognize that no one who quotes Shaw or uses a dash correctly—twice—according to the Chicago Manual of Style is a ranting lunatic.

(Maybe I should reconsider the correct usage point. Dr. Bledsoe taught both of us well in our historiography class. Kate Turabian forever.)

Even so, let me give a more extensive answer than what Facebook allows.

It is true that promoting social justice destroys liberty.

When Moses responded to God’s call from the flaming bush to lead the people of Israel to freedom, ultimately this destroyed the freedom of their Egyptian overlords to enslave them. “Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians….’”

It is unfair to tell an agribusiness owner to give away product. “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.”

No one likes getting passive-aggressive pressure to do something. “If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. I say nothing about your owing me even your own self.”

This destruction of liberty is not limited to examples in the Bible. Encouraged by examples from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, English Evangelicals like William Wilberforce worked for the elimination of the trade of a legal product. Americans Evangelicals like Elijah Parish Lovejoy worked to make ownership of this product illegal. In the 1960s, Jonathan Daniels died when trying to benefit only a portion of the population. It is very clear that Wilberforce, Lovejoy, and Daniels wanted to use the coercive power of government to loot some for the benefit of others.

Here is my confession. My example of life comes nowhere close to the example of Wilberforce, Lovejoy, and Daniels. Still, I hope I have done something in my life to show how they have inspired me.

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