Injustice! Standing or falling — and failing?
Peter Farley feels that now is the time for Christians to take a stand against the injustice we see around us.
United, we should stand for Justice, Fairness and Equality — otherwise, we fall — and fail!
In Isaiah 58:6, The Lord asks: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Sounds tough, but can our answer today be anything other than; “Yes Lord, we’re up for it!”
In Act 3 Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 2, there is a discourse between King Henry and the Earls of Surrey and Warwick. The King states: “Then you perceive the body of our kingdom how foul it is, what rank diseases grow and with what danger near the heart of it.” The Earl of Warwick responds: “It is but as a body yet distempered, which to his former strength may be restored with good advice and little medicine.”
There is little doubt that, in many ways, in common with many other nations, the United Kingdom is as much uneased, as diseased. It is diseased in that it is blighted with a lack of tolerance and respect for those with differing views, and an increasing disregard, at all levels of society, for the needs of the poor and vulnerable.
It is uneased by the growing discontent and discomfort felt by many, at their lack of power to do something about the state of our nation and our communities. In the wake of abuses of power by those who claim to be in authority, the majority of people feel powerless.
Unless we find a way for the silenced majority to have their say, by default, we are sentenced to sullen servitude. In so doing though, the ground is being prepared for inevitable insurrection. There is a cancer of discontent in society. This is not simply a benign discomfort, rather it is a malignant disaffection. Neither is this a time for simply dealing with the symptoms but rather an imperative to truly tackle the causes.
From time to time, a few politicians may call for us to treat the causes, but time and again, powerful interests ensure such pleas are never carried through. Why is that? Could it be that these same powerful interests are the macrobes which bacterium-like are intentionally causing social dis-ease?
We need to be actively aware that there are those in the upper echelons of society, who will placate, fob off, and cynically overrule, suppress (and if necessary silence) any dissenters, who seek to expose their true motives. They will ensure that such dissenters are labelled as irresponsible, social disruptives, bent on causing anarchy.
The dictionary defines a rebel as a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or leader, a person who resists authority, control, or convention. Those of us who feel disenfranchised and desire to see a more just and fair society need to be proud to acknowledge that we are rebels. We are rebels with a cause — a just cause.
Being a rebel doesn’t automatically mean we have to rise in armed resistance, to me this would be abhorrent. However, those who feel like-minded should seek to find a way in which they can responsibly rebel — to say to those with power and those in power: Stop the abuse!
So often when someone seeks to show there is a problem within a group (whether large or small, national or local), a leader will respond: ‘What’s the answer?’. When the riposte is: ‘I don’t know!’, the illogical retort is: ‘Well, there can’t be a problem!’
This is where the rebel must vigorously press for an open discourse. Those who feel like-minded must express our determination to find a way to give a voice to the people. We must declare our resolve to discover a way in which all that are able to, can collectively confront the fragmentation of our shared rights. We must have the audacity to suggest that we can speak for the young, the undiscerning, and the vulnerable, who cannot or will not speak for themselves.
I write this, not as an academic or philosopher, nor am I claiming to be erudite. Neither am I asserting that I have any more authority or expertise than the next man. No, I write as someone who is aware of my own failure to consistently live up to what I espouse. However, I am extremely distressed, tired of and fed up with the state of our nation, and the lack of leadership (particularly politically), to inspire us to work for (and responsibly fight for) a just and fair society.
If you want to learn more about fighting social injustice, you may be interested in the Greater Norwich Social Justice Conference to be held in the Kings Centre, Norwich on Monday January 29. Read the Network Norfolk article for more details.
Should our response to the injustice we see around us today, emulate the response of the Rebel Jesus — as in Luke 19:46? Are you up for the fight?
A Wannabe Word-Weaver, Peter Farley (founder of The Matthew Project) is a father of five and grandfather of thirteen. He lives and worships in Sheringham. His dream is to see a men’s shed set up in North Norfolk, and would be grateful to hear of any vacant sheds or buildings in the area!
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users.
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