We have all witnessed it numerous times on our televisions. Some activist group or labor organization marches in anger, chanting accusations at their perceived adversaries: the wealthy and the job providers.
These activist groups demand what they call “social and economic justice.” Are they using that term correctly, or are they hiding their real agenda inside the pretext of a warm and fuzzy principle?
It sounds good. Don’t we all love the idea of justice? Placing social and economic in front of that word makes it difficult for any caring person to argue against it. It is a verbal strategy that usually works.
There really is a moral and Judeo-Christian concept of social and economic justice. We have a duty, as a people and as a nation, to allow individuals the freedom to become who they want, and the freedom to succeed from their labors.
The United States has done more for social and economic justice than any other nation in history. Our founding documents are based in this principle, and we even fought a civil war over it. No country has done more for the poor and downtrodden, and for racial equality than the US.
Yet some activists tell us that the U.S. is mired in inequality. More must be done through government to strip the wealthy of their assets, and to force job providers to pay higher wages. They believe that it is the duty of government to force the redistribution of wealth and resources from their perceived oppressors, over to their designated group of perceived victims. They teach that it is moral and ethical to say “I want what you have because I deserve it.”
Real social and economic justice is based in love and human dignity, but this brand has anger, jealousy, and greed as its guiding principle. It’s a rewording of the philosophy that has failed every single time it has reared its ugly head — Socialism.
For those who believe in Judeo-Christian principles, we know that big government redistribution programs strip followers of the very essence of what we are commanded to do — take care of our fellow man. It removes the empathetic characteristics of humanity, and instead lays that duty squarely at the feet of government.
In other words, their brand of social and economic justice outsources human compassion into the cold, amoral hands of the government — where human dignity gets lost every time.
Terry Bowman is the chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition of Michigan, and the founder of Union Conservatives.