July 15, 2010

Band Aids and Social Justice

Every summer thousands of children attempt to ride their bikes without receiving serious injuries. Most fall, and their skinned knees and cement-burned elbows require the application of a popularly themed band aid.

While band aids are perfect for small injuries, they are useless for larger injuries which may require stitches, bandages, and hospital stays. Problems occur when someone attempts to use band aids to fix injuries requiring more intensive procedures.

Social Justice is a hot topic for the church; especially after one news entertainer recommended people leave their churches for even using the word. Most churches find themselves putting band aids on wounds requiring extensive treatments. Many open shelters, feeding kitchens, and job banks attempting to ease suffering, but these are band aid fixes for more complicated problems. Issues such as poverty, homelessness, and unemployment require not only the band aids, but also more intensive procedures for true healing to take place.

Real social justice happens when people treat wounds and treat the systems and structures causing the problems. No one was ever martyred for helping the poor, but many have been killed for standing against the structures and systems that create the oppression. People get crucified for trying to heal the system that cause the wounds in the first place.

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