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Justice

"When days grow dark and nights grow dreary, we can be thankful that our God combines in his nature a creative synthesis of love and justice which will lead us through life’s dark valleys and into sunlit pathways of hope and fulfillment."

   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart


"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”    - Rabbi Tarfon ; The Talmud


"When you start with an understanding that God loves everyone, justice isn’t very far behind."    - Dr. Emilie M. Townes ; Journey to Liberation: The Legacy of Womanist Theology


"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow."    - Isaiah the seer ; Isaiah 1:16,17


"The truth about injustice always sounds outrageous."
   - James H. Cone ;


"Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

   - Jesus ; Matthew 5.10


"There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground."    - Amos ; Amos 5.7


"They have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor."    - Jeremiah ; Jeremiah 5.28


"But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. The merchant uses dishonest scales and loves to defraud.  Ephraim boasts, “I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin.”     - Hosea ; Hosea 12.6-8


"Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the LORD’S support and say, 'Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.'”    - Micah ; Micah 3.9-11


"Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow."    - Isaiah ; Isaiah 1:17 


"Give justice to the weak and the orphan; Maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; Deliver them from the hand of the wicked."    - Psalmist ; Psalms 82.3-4


"The eros of beauty calls to us and bids us be fully in the world, attentive to particularities, emotionally alive, open to grace, and responsive to injustice."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 419


"Ethical grace is full-bodied life in the present—attuned to what is beautiful and good and responsive to legacies of injustice and currents of harm. For ethical grace to flourish, however, we require strong communities, rituals to train perception, and beauty to hold us and give us joy."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 418


"Entering paradise in this life is not an individual achievement but is the gift of communities that train perception and teach ethical grace. Paradise provides deep reservoirs for resistance and joy. It calls us to embrace life’s aching tragedies and persistent beauties, to labor for justice and peace, to honor one another’s dignity, and to root our lives in the soil of this good and difficult earth."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 410


"A protest against injustice and violence is incomparably more valuable if it comes entirely from people who have been prompted to it purely by sentiments of humanity and a love of justice."    - Albert Einstein ; The World As I See It


"Then I said, 'Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel. Should you not embrace justice, you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones.'"    - Micah ; Micah 3.1-2


"You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts."    - Amos ; Amos 5.11


“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red. Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?”declares the LORD. “But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”    - Jeremiah ; Jeremiah 22:13-17


"Who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent."    - First Isaiah ; Isaiah 5.23


"Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless."    - First Isaiah ; Isaiah 10.1-2


"The eschaton is not about the destruction of the world, but about its transformation into a place of justice and nonviolence. It is not about the annihilation of the earth, but about its transformation into a location of freedom and peace."    - John Dominic Crossan ; The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer


"It is crucially important for Christians today to adopt a genuinely Christian position and support it with everything they have got. This means an unremitting fight for justice in every sphere—in labor, in race relations, in the 'third word' and above all in international affairs."    - Thomas Merton ; Peace in the Post-Christian Era


"As we gather at tables, grieving the state of our nation, may we gain spiritual strength for the journey ahead, drawing on the deepest wells of wisdom from those on whose shoulders we stand and the various faith traditions that have fueled their freedom march and continue to energize ours. In the spirit of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. King, may the pioneers of the civil rights movement collaborate with the young leaders in Ferguson, New York City and other cities, and may they impart their knowledge and understanding of nonviolent resistance that is not passive, but is spiritually active with an abiding faith that the universe is on the side of justice, and that, in the end, love will triumph over evil. May this spiritual strength, fueled by prophetic fire and love, reveal to us our neighbors’ humanity, our own complicity in their suffering and liberate us once and for all from the history that continues to enslave us."    - Peter Heltzel and Cornel West ; A Thanksgiving Prayer


"After all, are we not all oppressed, especially those who think that their freedom is found in social, political, and economic domination of others? Although these questions point to an essential truth of the gospel of liberation, they have been used by oppressors for untruth. The untruth of these questions lies in the subjective and often undisclosed intention of the people who ask them. While pretending to be concerned about the universal character of the human condition, oppressors are in fact concerned to justify their own particular status in society. They want to be oppressors and Christians at the same time. Since the oppressed are the only true Christians, oppressors claim to be victims, not for the purpose of being liberated but for their own social interests in retaining a 'Christian' identity while being against Jesus Christ. This is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer in another context called 'cheap grace.' I call it hypocrisy and blasphemy."    - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed


“'Spirit! are they yours?' Scrooge could say no more. 'They are Man’s,' said the Spirit, looking down upon them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree; but most of all beware this boy [Ignorance], for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!' cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. 'Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!'"
   - The Ghost of Christmas Present ; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone."    - Jesus ; Luke 11.42


"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."    - Jesus ; Matthew 23.23


"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory."    - Matthew ; Matthew 12.20


“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations."    - Matthew ; Matthew 12.18


"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?'”    - Luke ; 18.1-8


"The terrible truth is that our world has never established peace through victory. Victory establishes not peace, but lull. Thereafter, violence returns once again, and always worse than before. And it is that escalator violence that then endangers our world."    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The First Christmas


"The first passion of Jesus was the kingdom of God, namely, to incarnate the justice of God by demanding for all a fair share of a world belonging to and ruled by the covenantal God of Israel. It was that first passion for God’s distributive justice that led inevitably to the second passion by Pilate’s punitive justice."    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The Last Week


"The rise of Old Testament prophecy is due primarily to the lack of justice within that community. The prophets of Israel are prophets of social justice, reminding the people that Yahweh is the author of justice. It is important to note in this connection that the righteousness of God is not an abstract quality in the being of God, as with Greek philosophy. It is rather God’s active involvement in history, making right what human beings have made wrong."    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching."    - Isaiah ; Isaiah 42:3-4


"He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory."    - Matthew ; Matthew 12:20 


"You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right. You died when you refused to stand up for truth. You died when you refused to stand up for justice."    - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Ebenezer Baptist Church; 11/5/67; Atlanta, Ga


"There is a line that separates discrimination from affirmation. We can talk and progress while on the discrimination side until the cows come home. We can nudge up as close as possible to that line, but we will still be on the side of injustice. Justice doesn’t begin until that line is crossed. Period."

   - David Hayward ; NakedPastor.com


"Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually."    - Hosea the prophet ; Hosea 12:6


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