I am sure that many of you—like us—long for justice and a renewal of the rule of law. There is some intrinsic longing in each person for fairness and equity. Often fairness is seen through at least somewhat skewed eyes, even in those who try hard to be objective. So, in the same way that Lady Justice is blindfolded and holds a scale in her hand, we desire that justice would be blind, bringing both the influential and the common person under the rule of law.
Regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum, social or religious spectrum, and even the financial or influential spectrum—justice should be blind.
So much for the blindfold…what about the scales?
It’s important to keep things balanced, justice holding both the people and the rulers in check. This is, in part, why we have a checks and balance system built into our Constitutional form of government. Constitutional attorney and college lecturer/debater John Eidsmoe warns, “Where law does not restrain the people, the result is anarchy. Where law does not restrain the rulers, there is tyranny. Those who believe in the rule of law must be equally opposed to both.”
Judges, politicians, Presidents—and yes, even “We the People”—often want to slip out of the constitutional choke chain that keeps us from running wild with our personal biases and desires, unrestrained. We watch judges overstep their bounds, Presidents write executive orders to circumnavigate their constitutional restraints, congressmen who neglect to uphold checks and balances for the sake of their constituents, and we cry “Foul!”
How often have we been willing to accept unconstitutional entitlements or not stand against unconstitutional laws and overreaches in the name of betterment or for our own comfort?
Whenever we allow the scales to tip, we stand in danger of sliding into tyranny or anarchy.We all want justice for ourselves; let us hold ourselves to the same standard. Evidences of injustice are all around us. Sometimes there isn’t much we can do about it. Yet, opportunities to live justly and honorably in our families and work places and holding loved ones and others accountable whenever and wherever possible—even when it is unpopular—will set the pace for justice in and around us.
The prophet Micah sets this before us as a great reminder: “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?” (Micah 6:8)
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American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.