Social Justice, also known as economic justice, is a term describing the redistribution of wealth for the common good of all. However, this comes at the expense of wage earners and liberty by demanding a society to conform. Those who work and have must give to those who don't work and don't have. This is the fundamental basis of Marxism and championed by liberal progressives. Everyone shall have equal advantages and everyone will have equal disadvantages. In reality it creates two classes, those with power and everyone else.
In contrast with the growing evangelical Christian churches, many declining Christian denominations advocate for social justice. However, this is a trap promoted by Liberal Christianity claiming Jesus was a socialist. We are to help the less fortunate but we are not to become the less fortunate in the process. The National Council of Churches, the group that translates the Bible to the New Revised Standard Version, is an advocate of Social Justice.
The phrase "social justice" was first coined by a Jesuit Priest named Luigi Taparelli, in his work titled Saggio teoretico di dritto naturaleappoggiato sul fatto - A Theoretical Treatise on Natural Law Resting on Fact.
When Taparelli coined this phrase, he did not have in mind for it a meaning that government would swoop in and take over every aspect of your life. That definition for "social justice" came several decades later.
Confusion about the Definition and its Origin
Some writers have erroneously written that the phrase "social justice" originates with the Christian socialism movement toward the end of the 19th century. As noted above, the phrase originally had nothing to do with communism and socialism.
It was, however, those members of the Christian socialism movement as well as assistance from the Social Gospel movement which helped in converting the phrase from its Biblical and Religious origins, into a phrase that means state power, wealth redistribution, and harm to the individual.
The confusion has arisen for three primary reasons:
- The phrase was de facto co-opted, not de jure, meaning that the Christian socialists who started using it outside of its original meaning were truly of the belief that only they were the authentic defenders and promoters of "social justice". They didn't set out to co-opt it as they did not have to. They were already ministers, pastors, priests, and evangelists. This naturally brings the phrase into the socialist fold, and from there its not long before the communists start using it interchangeably.
- The Church(any) do not and have not made any major attempts to correct the record.
- Very few if any progressives or Christian socialists will be ready to admit that they subverted the term and are using it in a dishonest way.
The phrase is now primarily associated with forces who will grow government to never-ending bounds. Since most churches do not defend themselves from this alternate meaning of the phrase, it allows groups and individuals with ill intent to make their way into the church and poison it for different ends.
The Roman Catholic Church and Social Justice
The Roman Catholic Church advocates social justice that is based on charity and support for all mankind, its key points being respect for the human person, equality and difference among men, human solidarity. In brief, they seek respect, equal dignity, encourage charity, reduce excessive social and economic inequalities, the elimination of sinful inequalities, and the sharing of spiritual goods.
The teaching is based on Jesus's teaching in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 25:34-46):
|“||Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.||”|
The Church's support of the teaching began largely with Rerum Novarum, an encyclical letter written by Pope Leo XIII, published in 1891. The 1962 - 1965 Second Vatican Council produced an Apostolic Constitution called Gaudium et Spes which stated in Paragraph 90:
"The council, considering the immensity of the hardships which still afflict the greater part of mankind today, regards it as most opportune that an organism of the universal Church be set up in order that both the justice and love of Christ toward the poor might be developed everywhere. The role of such an organism would be to stimulate the Catholic community to promote progress in needy regions and international social justice."
Based on the above statement, in 1967 Pope Paul VI created a Pontifical Commission called Justice and Peace, later renamed by Pope John Paul II The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
- Glenn Beck Keeps 'Social Justice' Debate Alive Christian Post, March 20, 2010
- Conservatism and Social Justice, American Thinker
- Real Social Justice
- (1998) Social Justice Feminists in the United States and Germany: A Dialogue in Documents, 1885-1933. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801484698.
- (2012) Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on Gender Transformations: From Private to Public. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1461448631.
- Encyclopedia of American Social Movements
- Encyclopedia of American Urban History
- Heaven on Earth: Reimagining Time and Eternity in Nineteenth-Century British Evangelicalism, p. 208-209
- The Christian World
- American Reformers, 1870-1920: Progressives in Word and Deed
- Vatican- Social Justice
- Obamacare: A Social Justice Nightmare for the Whole World
- Glenn Beck Keeps 'Social Justice' Debate Alive
- NETWORK - A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby (advocate of Obamacare & Abortion)
- Vatican page of Social Justice