6.12 What does the Bible say about discrimination? What is social justice? Can I be self-sufficient? Does God want us to be weak?
Discriminating against people is seriously wrong (Jn 7:24). Saint James even wondered whether Christians who discriminated others really believed in Jesus (Jas 2:1-4). Social justice is based on the fundamental dignity of every human person and strives for a better life for all. Social justice asks that we exercise our rights with the good of the group in mind, the ‘common good’.
Complete self-sufficiency is an illusion: we always depend on God and fellow human beings in one way or another. We neither live nor die for ourselves (Rom 14:7). God knows that we are weak. Look at the weakness of the prophets and Apostles he chose! (Ex 4:10-16). Through our weakness God can show his strength (2 Cor 12:9-10). But this weakness can never excuse us from not helping those on the margins of society (Mt 11:28).
How does one participate in bringing about the common good?
All men and women according to the place and role that they occupy participate in promoting the common good by respecting just laws and taking charge of the areas for which they have personal responsibility such as the care of their own family and the commitment to their own work. Citizens also should take an active part in public life as far as possible [CCCC 410].
How does society ensure social justice?
Society ensures social justice when it respects the dignity and the rights of the person as the proper end of society itself. Furthermore, society pursues social justice, which is linked to the common good and to the exercise of authority, when it provides the conditions that allow associations and individuals to obtain what is their due [CCC 411].
On what is human equality based?
All persons enjoy equal dignity and fundamental rights insofar as they are created in the image of the one God, are endowed with the same rational soul, have the same nature and origin, and are called in Christ, the one and only Saviour, to the same divine beatitude [CCCC 412].
In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. This option… demands before all else an appreciation of the immense dignity of the poor in the light of our deepest convictions as believers [Pope Francis, Laudato si’, 158].