We’ve been talking a lot about justice here lately (or, really, I’ve been writing a lot about it and you’ve kindly put up with it).
For instance, I wrote recently about how biblical justice is, at the very least, about applying God’s standard to all people equally, without favoritism or discrimination.
But outside of the bible — in Roman society, in our courtrooms today, in your home owner’s association meetings — justice also begins with applying some standard to all without favoritism or discrimination.
Last night my Facebook feed erupted with outraged Republican friends calling Nancy Pelosi “childish,” “petty,” and “disrespectful” for tearing up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address. And I agree – her actions were all of those things.
If you think the appropriate response to a politician’s public, childish, petty, disrespectful actions is to publicly criticize, then I would only caution you to act justly – without favoritism and discrimination.
Are we applying our moral and ethical standards to politicians of all parties – without favoritism or discrimination?
Are we willing to publicly criticize all politicians of all parties who violate our standard – without favoritism or discrimination?
If we have a standard for “childish” behavior…are we willing to apply that standard not only to Nancy Pelosi’s dramatics but also to the president’s daily name-calling? That would be just.
If we have a standard for “petty” behavior…are we willing to apply that standard to the president’s refusal to shake Speaker Pelosi’s hand before his address? That would be just.
If we have a standard for “disrespectful” behavior…are we willing to apply that standard to a president who disrespected POWs by saying they’re not heroes because they got caught, or disrespected women by privately saying that being a “star” gives him license to “grab ’em by the p—-?” That would be just.
I’m not arguing that one politician or party has behaved more or less childishly, pettily, or disrespectfully than another.
I’m arguing that justice, at the very least, requires us to apply our standards – any standards – to all without favoritism or discrimination. When we fail to do that in the realm of politics we’re clinging more tightly to party than to principle.