But to the rest of us I would like to discuss injustice. This is a mandate that requires us to look at solutions.
I do not think many of us understand our mandate to stand against injustice. It is commanded to be just and to stand against injustice. Here are some references if you are not sure. (Lev 9:15, Matt 23:23-24, Isa 58:6)
Additionally, we do not know what injustices are regularly faced. And we do not know how to help.
So we have three problems; ignorance of the mandate, not seeing the injustice, and ignorance of what to do.
To start we need to go where people are that need help.
I heard from some friends that they would love to help but they didn’t know of anyone that needed it. Well this is like a fisherman disappointed at not catching his limit without going to the lake. This of course is absurd. The fisherman knows he must get a pole in the water to catch fish.
We must avail ourselves. Volunteer where people need help, put up signs offering help where those in need congregate. Take adds out to let those in need know you are available to help.
In the midst of helping you discover needs and injustices.
Let us look at common injustices and the possibilities we have to help.
Child Protective Services
If you notice, all of these deal with the legal system. Yes, most oppression is institutional. These come from us the voters who generally are ignorant of the ramifications of our legislators and our votes. Since the laws do not often affect us we do not know how we are destroying people.
Children are removed from home without do-process. In one case three children were removed do to an anonymous call. The single women had a boy friend living with her who had a felony, the house was dirty, and grandpa had boats and boat part around in the yard. They never got their kids back. And worse the five yr old boy inappropriately touched his two yr old brother while in a foster home. The five yr old was taken from foster care and put in a boy’s home specializing in boys with sex problems. Does this disgust you?
A guy and his wife were on meth amphetamines. They were fighting. She is dominant in the relationship and he is pretty mild mannered. She locked him in the travel trailer. He was mad and got out. As she was racing off in the car he picked up a big chunk of metal and threw it at the car. It hit the driver’s window. She got mad and called the cops.
He received a second degree assault with a deadly weapon, which would mean two yrs minimum in prison. His public defender got him a plea bargain and he spent six months in jail with six months of home monitoring. Does this sound like the system served us well?
Another guy stole money from the Little League fund which he managed. Not only did he go to prison but they took his license for home appraisal away. How did it help to take away his livelihood?
I know of a couple who are drinkers. They were arguing in public and it got physical...pushing kind of stuff. Someone called the police. He was given jail time and they now have a no contact order even though neither of them want it. They need help but who cares enough?
Felons have a hard time getting housing and work. I do not blame people for avoiding them. Yet what are they to do if someone won’t help them? Go back to a life of crime?
All sex offenders are put in the same category as child molesters and violent rapists. If one streaks or urinates in public they will be a sex offender requiring registration with their picture posted in the neighborhood they live.
A guy I know was peeking in a gals bedroom window. He is categorized as a level two sex offender. He has a roommate who is level two also but for a violent rape. Why is there no distinction? Where is the justice?
Also, it is hard to get work or housing with this stigma. But not many care and at best will only pray for them.
So once you have discovered the injustice what will you do?
Go to child protection meetings with the family to support them. Ask questions that help the family at these meetings. Offer support and help for them. Give alternatives to those in authority.
Visit probation officers with the offender and give solutions.
Convince Christian small business owners to hire a felon.
Give housing and support for so called sex offenders.
We need to work with legislators to change laws. We need a lawyer on retainer that can help all of these victimized. This is needed because the public defender’s office rarely gives legal defense but streamlines the system by getting them a plea for a lesser charge. This isn’t justice but the prosecutors scare tactic to save money by the case never going to trial. The public defender and prosecutor win and the defendant loses. The defendant is told that if he loses in court that he’ll get more time. Due to fear the defendant succumbs to a plea.
Those who have real lawyers rarely suffer the same outcomes as those represented by public defenders.
Because we have not understood our mandate to stand against injustice we are left ignorant of the oppression that is going on in our locality daily.
We must find these people and offer help. This may require you to work with your church and friends. These are difficult issues which are hard to handle by ourselves.
WARNING: Avoid institutional solutions, they are no substitute for you...they need you!
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