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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Flawed Justice

Isaiah 59:4 (NIV) 
No one calls for justice;
    no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.

The occurrence of crime is nothing new. Mankind has been subject to unlawful acts for as long as history has been recorded. However, in recent times, the incidents of crime seem to be increasing. This condition is brought about by a number of factors, all of which can be attached to a few basic underlining circumstances. One being attitude and the other response.

The "West" as a whole and America in particular does not pursue "Justice." What it does instead is pursue a "System of Justice." The trouble with this system is that it has been corrupted to represent "Just Us", or more correctly "Just Them." Them, being an exclusive few who have taken the notion of privilege as theirs alone. In a quest for power and riches, the system has been manipulated to keep in place the values and position desired by a limited few. A position that from the outset has excluded the masses. In effect, justice has become a method of control rather than a design to foster fairness and equality. The result is the loss of well being for the sake of resource management.

How many times has a bill been stopped from passing in our legislature because one party wishes to control or stop another?

How many times has a clause been attached to a bill in an attempt to appease a special interest group and insure its passing?

Do the PAC's and lobbyist that court our elected officials operate with the overall interest of the public in mind?

These actions speak to an attitude that has more to do with desire than justice, and that desire looks more and more selfish in nature than it does as having the overall well being of the people at heart. The response generated can only be of equal and opposite nature and just as negatively inclined. 

In the book, "The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind", the authors, Jason Weeden  and Robert Kurzban, point to an unspoken truth that's known but often not discussed.

"It's about people's interests. Identifying where people's interests lie is, in some cases, pretty easy. However, in other cases, while the key issue is still interests, identifying how particular policies advance people interests can be trickier." 

Another sad condition that underlines and sometimes defines the motivation of self interest is greed. Money, or the desire for the material things that it can buy, has become more sought after than the preservation of human life.  

Genesis 6:5 (NIV) 

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 

Isaiah 5:21 (NIV)

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. 

One cannot impart any skill to another without first having it in their possession. The result is a systematic influx of training fueled by a government and corporate structure that promotes desperation. We are taught to feel inadequate, and encouraged to act ruthlessly. There are no easy answers. as the problem didn't occur overnight... the solution won't be an instant one.

Crime, in the legal sense is an invention of man. this is evident by the way the law is created, amended, and changed. What is and is not a crime is based on attitude and perception, something that is in a constant state of change. Many of the things that are now considered crime were at one time unchallenged practice. 

The National Law Center, reports that around the country there has been a 60 percent increase in city-wide bans on camping in public, and a 119 percent increase in bans on sleeping in vehicles since 2011. “This is a trend,” says Foscarinis, (Executive Director, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.) “In many cities, there’s a misguided view that ‘doing something’ means passing a law that makes it a crime to be homeless. Clearly that doesn’t work.” (Read more here.

This is a clear case of attitude and the interests of a select few compounding a problem, making it worse. Having been homeless myself I can recount a few instances where the system added negative input. 

Deuteronomy 15:11 (KJV) 

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

The media puts to use the best minds it can find to create depictions of what was and what could be, and more and more it uses violence to tell its story. Everywhere you look there is a proliferation of violence, and right in the middle of all it are our young people.  

“You turn on the television, and violence is there. You go to a movie, and violence is there,” “Reality is distorted. If you live in a fictional world, then the fictional world becomes your reality.” Dr. Emanuel Tanay, retired Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University and a forensic psychiatrist for more than 50 years.
See more at:  Psychiatric Times. 

When you live in a fictional world it becomes very easy to believe that it's O.K. to do things that are not right, especially in the absence of morality. 

(ABC 7 Chicago Blue Line Incident)

The young man sought in this incident was turned in by his own mother. Please don't misunderstand. I make no reference to this mother, her decision, or her skills as a parent with this discussion. My statements are general and aimed toward the community as a whole. The family nucleus has been generally destroyed. There is a whole generation of children born of parents who were raised on movies, TV-sitcoms, and a thug life society. They accept gangs, drugs, and prison as the norm. It's hard to instill moral value to young people when so much negative input goes on around us everyday. Even the best of parents are fighting an uphill battle. I commend this mother. Her choice was a hard one, not made lightly. So many in our community are content with easy choices, made without much thought at all. Something that further compounds the problem. 

"The trouble with the laws these days is that criminals know their rights better than their wrongs."
~ Author Unknown ~

Our current system of justice is punitive in design, using punishment and retribution as its basis. This model tends to be one sided, favoring the supposed injured party. The identified guilty party is then made the victim of the retribution and punishment. It serves the interests of one side, and usually that side is the one with position, influence, power, and or money. At the same time it does nothing to address the root causes for the infractions, and may even, to some degree, further perpetuate those causes. Many believe the criminal justice system to be ineffective, unjust, and malicious, but little, if anything is being done to reforming or re-examination the system fundamentals. That stagnate posture has, in recent times, led some to accept oppressive behavior as a normal procedure. It becomes normal for those who carry out the crime and for those who are charged with enforcement. In any case it leads to more violence. 

Because of exposure in our society, which is a combination of institutional teaching, training in the home, and a lack of effective measures; some have decided to take matters into their own hands. All of us can be potentially affected, often with drastic results. 


There is a flaw prevalent in our communities. We've attempted to define righteousness while voiding the inclusion of moral value.Our desires are in need of balance in order that our temptations are kept at bay. Temptation must be filtered through morality, for without it, righteousness, for us, will never exist. Unfortunately, there exists a whole generation who themselves, don't have training in morality. It is from this generation that we are forced to elect our current and future law makers and those who enforce those laws. 

As of this writing there are just under 7.5 billion people on the planet (population). That translates to a lot of self-interest groups, each with differing opinions. Even if you discount the personal agendas, political parties, and other forms of ego; there would still be difficulty in getting everyone appeased, let alone to agree. As long as we insist in following our own self righteousness, we will invite an existence of struggle and difficulty. 

Our Heavenly Father is the creator of all that exists. On that list of things you'll find a good and perfect version of both justice and righteousness. I think it would behoove us all to wrap our heads around Paul's advice... That we present ourselves a sacrifice pleasing unto God. After all, it echo's the words of Christ, described in Luke's Gospel...  "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Jesus had one agenda of concern. He followed the "Will of God." Nothing got in His way, not even the grave. The last time I checked, He was also the only one who went from the grave straight to the throne room of Heaven. That should be reason enough to pay attention and do likewise.

Micah 6:8 (NIV)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God. 



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When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

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