Enabling violence and injustice with our silence
It is easy to deplore the wrongs which we know exist. But do we consider ourselves free from all responsibility in the matter? Do we have the courage to call out evil where epic evil is in evidence?
There is a time to speak and a time to be silent, but might we be erring on the side of too much silence? If so, we are in effect entrenching wrongful norms in society, such as those that deny the powerless the right to due process of law, to life itself.
Thousands upon thousands of young men have lost their lives to the war on drugs, robbing their mothers of future support in old age. If by silence we say amen to that, won’t blood be also on our hands? Remember, the atrocities are continuously conducted in our names.
By virtue of spiritual enlightenment, many are well-drilled in discerning right from wrong. Sadly though, they are among the tight-lipped. They excuse their noninvolvement by saying that matters of state such as those dealing with justice are none of a Christian’s business. But isn’t justice central to the Gospel? We, believers, aim to work as hands and feet of Jesus in answer to His call to practical service, and Jesus’ first call to us is to be His voice in speaking on behalf of those He wants us to defend.
In one of His parables, Jesus told of religious leaders who merely passed by a victim of violence lying on the road helpless. Such indifference is unbecoming of those who profess love for God and neighbor.
It is not possible to love one’s neighbor without loving justice.
Every individual has an influence in society. Your voice or mine may be of no consequence, but in concert with many others, the collective voice can inhibit the big bullies from furthering their bloody agenda. Can we face God while that influence and that vote are cast on the side of evil?
It is understandable to feel threatened when advocacy for the voiceless pits us against a powerful figure. But will fear dictate that we eschew moral duty and leave the struggle for justice to heroic human rights activists, outspoken dissenters, and brave journalists alone? Are they the only conscientious citizens alive?
Fernando Garcia, [email protected]
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