7 Theses on Social Justice: Clear Definitions of Justice & Racism

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In light of the widespread confusion on so-called “social justice” issues, and given the fact that many Christian leaders seem to have chosen not to aid the Church in clearing up said confusion, I thought it would be helpful to publish a short list of basic statements which most Christians should be able to affirm.

7 Theses on Social Justice

Even if many Christians will not affirm these basic statements, the statements are so clear that the refusal to affirm them will still provide much needed clarity on where such Christians stand. A friend recently quipped that you can’t nail down Jell-O. That’s true. But you can draw some very sharp lines, and then let the Jell-O fall where it may. So, here’s to Jell-O sorting.

1. Being in need does not give one a just claim against someone else. To say that it does undermines the justice of God in the Gospel. Justice is deserved. Grace (or charity) is not.

2. What we owe to God as justice should never be confused with what we owe to other people as justice.

3. Racism is the sin of ascribing undue significance to the color of someone’s skin, or to their biological lineage.

4. To call anything less “racism” is to belittle the evil of actual racism and to unjustly level false accusations.

5. Systemic racism occurs when a policy or person(s) of power within an institution implements practices which place undue significance on the color of people’s skin, or their biological lineage.

6. Mere statistical disparities are never sufficient evidence for concluding that systemic racism is at play.

7. One of the most abusive forms of injustice which has become socially acceptable (and even socially applauded), but which the Church must condemn strongly and clearly, is the practice of trading in false accusations of racism (or systemic racism), either due to a redefinition of “racism” or due to a complete lack of substantiating evidence for the accusations.

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