Halls of Justice Painted Green
Power Wolves Beset Your Door
Hear Them Stalking
Soon You’ll Please Their Appetite
Hammer of Justice Crushes You
Overpower – Metallica, “And Justice For All”
His rights in violation
Through sharp intimidation
He’s soon to realize
That their words are full of lies – Anacrusis, “Injustice”
One of the things that gets me all lathered up, is how the religious live in this comic book world, where someone, sometime, will swoop in (at some unspecified time/date) and rectify an inequitable situation.
Case in point: I was visiting my Dominionist/YEC buddy (hey, I know, I know: but I love the guy like a brother, the friendship’s over 30 years old, and…excuses, excuses. We just don’t debate ideology any more, I yell too much) a while back, and unprompted, he starts in with this nonsense about “I can’t wait till Jesus shows up, and life is wonderful and lovey-dovey, and justice will be done.” (Para) I let him finish, and told him point blank, that that just wasn’t going to happen, like, not EVER. While the more disconnected of the delusionists will assure me that somehow this is an isolated example, I can safely bet the rent that not only is that incorrect, it’s the state of mental affairs for the bulk of the religulous.
In fact, back in the days of my cafeteria Christianity, I had some nebulous notion that everyone who’d ever wronged me would get their ‘just desserts’. Stronger likelihood is that they just ate pie, and forgot about what they did.
Let’s define justice somewhat on a loose level, and go from there:
Now the point of this post is not to debate the overall concepts of jurisprudence, or to weigh respective acts on some abstract scale. No, it is to point out that this concept of justice as Divine Command is not only utter horseshit, but that it poisons the meme ecology, and leads to a situation that boils down to ‘for the want of a nail…’
This will require some thought. How often have you heard the vacuous homily, “Gawd has a plan for you?” Too many? Me too. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the times I’ve (over)heard this crap. Taking it a step further: how many of your friends/family members, casual acquaintances (et al) who have stated (verbatim or para) that “so-and-so will get his/hers/theirs”? Sit down and hash that out. It probably rates up there with any other startling statistics you’ve glossed over for who knows how many years you’ve been alive. I will say on my part: a LOT. If you hang with Buddhists, it’s called karma. And holy shit, there’s even a TV show that predicates its premises on this nonsense. Being a primarily Christian majority in America, however, means that a lot more folks will err on the side of ‘Jebus’ll take care o’ me.”
I will state this: the only people that the concept of karma works on, are the people who aren’t sociopaths. We are the creatures who are self aware, and feel empathy. Those of us who have committed some act of injustice on another will have that nagging thing called a conscience somewhere in the corners of our minds, and the guilt will make us self-sabotage either in the short- or long-term. The crazy assholes who think they’re the center and reality of the universe? Not so much. Lacking a degree, that’s all I’ll say on that for the moment.
So how does this impact the culture from a victim’s viewpoint? Instead of stepping up and addressing any injustice or injury committed on a person’s character, livelihood, relationships, etc., it allows the victimizer to get away with said transgression, and encourages the injured to keep silent. It empowers the passive to stay passive, and allows the transgressor a degree of freedom they shouldn’t have.
And it prompts idiocies like the Urethra Dilemma. I mean really: how many thousands of man-hours have been devoted to garbage like that? Hours better spent feeding hungry children, building shelters, or just objectively measuring the scale of the universe? But I digress…
And there’s so very many examples of how divinity has never stepped in. The Holocaust. The Darfur genocide. Cambodia and East Timor. Bosnia. There’s a laundry list of these examples that turns my stomach just thinking of them. Where exactly was karma then? Or Jebus? Nowhere to be found.
I realize I’m skirting the fringes of a slippery slope argument, but it’s more along the lines of the Boiling Frog. My point is that it is an incremental allowance: we allow an individual some slack in regards to acts of selfishness. The individual sees that s/he can get away with this, and begins to test the boundaries. Before you object, recall that Dahmer started with small animals, and it was never addressed (being as he was raised in a fuckagelical environment, it kind of makes my point for me) or dealt with.
And people are lazy. They just are. Humans rationalize, because either they’re disempowered (by word or deed) to speak up on their own behalf, or they’re taught some gratuitous crap about ‘just desserts’, i.e, the universe/gawd/allah/karma [insert deity or concept of choice] will step in and rectify a situation regardless of how tolerable (or intolerable) said situation has escalated.
The nutshell of all this is: there’s no justice. There’s just us. And as the universe cares not a bit for us, more’s the reason we need to take care of one another.
Till the next post, then.