Justice: Common Ground in a Divided Land
The verdict finally came:
Justice prevailed. Or did it?
Your view will depend on your worldview.
No one can deny the tragedy in the Martin/Zimmerman case. I will mourn for the Martin family and their loss. I will mourn for the Zimmerman family whose lives have been changed forever. The intentions of Zimmerman and Martin led to a tragic exchange leaving one dead, and the other sentenced to a life of judgment and controversy.
- What some call justice, others call a broken legal system.
- What some call wanton murder, others call the justified use of deadly force.
- For some this has nothing to do with race. For others, it has everything to do with race.
A jury’s decision is based on legality, not morality. In this case, they decided Zimmerman’s act was lawful.
We, the people are now galvanized to review the morality of the laws on the books.
The Zimmerman trial has given this country another opportunity to display the extent of its division. News outlets carefully select photos, craft headlines, and edit media to communicate justice according to their worldview. If you want to satisfy your confirmation bias, go to a major news agency. Many are serving up a one-sided quarter-pounder of bias. If you don’t like the taste, go to other one. You can have it your way.
My recommendation: read views that both confirm and conflict with your own.
The only way you’ll know the depth of issues in the culture war is to read both sides of the biased stories.
How should we understand justice? Where should we look for answers? Who can help us with our search?
You can put you trust in a smart man or woman–a professor, a judge, a celebrity.
I suggest you put your trust in the only other person who knows the heart and intentions of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman: God Himself.
Allow me to make a final argument:
1. We all desire perfect justice to prevail.
2. Perfect justice will never prevail in this life.
3. We have justified hope of perfect justice in the future.
4. Therefore, future perfect justice can only prevail after this life.
Premise 1 represents the common ground where we can meet to mend our divided nation.
Whether you accept premises 2-4 depends on your worldview. If you believe this world is infected with sin, then perfect harmony will elude us in the age of Aquarius and beyond. If you reject the notion of perfect justice in the future, then what hope can you provide to those in the present?
The Christian worldview acknowledges the presence of evil, pursues the ultimate good, recognizes the failures of man, and looks forward to a future where ultimate justice will prevail.
It adequately answers questions of origins, meaning, morality, and destiny.
It carries with it a message of forgiveness, purpose, and hope. Christians will mourn the injustices of this world, but they can keep hope for a better future
Asymptote is based on the greek word, asumptotos, meaning “not falling together,” with one of the base words translating to “fallen.” A befitting description of our world.
Justice will never touch perfection in this world.
Only in the next world will we experience the wonder of the mysterious and application of perfect justice.
For now, we can at least agree that justice is an objective moral value. There is no culture in the world that values injustice.
It might not be much, but it’s a start. And a start is what we need to loosen the deadlock between “us” and “them.”
How does your worldview account for injustices?
- 9/11: Remembering the Consequence of a Ruthless Worldview
- War of the Words: Making Sense of the News
- Just War Theory and Evangelism Part 1: Jus ad Bellum
Photo by belgianchocolate from Antwerp, Belgium (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Cronholm144
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.