Sunday, February 25, 2007

Social Justice

A while back we read a fascinating string over on Little Green Footballs about a women's' studies prof at Loyola -- can't recall which one -- and her alleged run-in with some Iraq War Marine Veterans. Women's' Studies + American University Politics + US Marines = no hope of the truth emerging about what really happened.

The course this prof was teaching dealt with "social justice." We didn't think much of it at the time -- except that the prof was a certifiable moon bat -- however until we came across a brilliant commentary on the the new film "Amazing Grace" in the Weekend WSJ Pursuits section. The day before the film had gotten a pretty good review (as a film) in the WSJ Weekend section (Friday, 23 February). The author of the commentary piece blasts the film for ignoring the religious (specifically Christian & Methodist) underpinnings of the Continental, and eventually US, abolition movement. The film frames the abolitionists as secular humanists when in fact they were evangelical Christians who viewed slavery as a sin, not just a matter of politics and social justice.

Reading the comments on LGF, and the above article, helped us to crystallize what has always troubled us about the term "social justice." The term lacks moral underpinnings. Social justice, as preached today, is a political conceit, something to bandy about in the public arena while playing both sides of the game at once and refusing to declare one way or the other -- waiting to see who will win, yet screaming all the time at those they "feel" to be "wrong." Abolitionists like William Wilberforce -- the protagonist in "Amazing Grace" -- engaged their crusades girded by belief in a defined universe, limned by their religious faith, of right and wrong, moral and immoral. Today's crusaders for "social justice" fear such absolutes and eschew faith, never realizing that without these things nothing will ever change if left up to the vagaries of the zero-sum political game.

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