"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke, 18th Century Anglo-Irish statesman
We received, in an anonymous comment regarding our recent blogs, an admonition to “Let God deal with M. Isaiah and Fr. Katinas.” Essentially we were told not to seek justice. We submit this is antithetical to what the Lord asks of us. Through Scripture God tells us to seek justice through love, wisdom, faith and action.
Jesus instructed us:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gaveChrist continued, saying that whenever we aid the “least of these,” we aid Him. Clearly then, suffering occurs in this world to get our attention, to urge us toward action in aiding others, and thus to show God's love and power. When we seek justice, compassion, fairness, we become examples of His Love. We manifest His victory over evil, wickedness and apathy.
me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes
and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you
came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35).
Nowhere in scripture does God say “stand by, do nothing, I’ll handle everything!” Instead, the opposite is true:
“…do away with the yoke of oppression…and satisfy the needs of the oppressed…”
(Isaiah 58:9, 10) “No one calls for justice…justice is driven back and
righteousness stands at a distance...” (Isaiah 59:4,14) The Prophet Isaiah
describes the Lord’s reaction when His people fail to fight injustice: “The LORD
looked and was displeased that there was no justice. ... He was appalled that
there was no one to intervene…” (Isaiah 59:15,16)
God calls us to stand fast and unafraid. “Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed…” (Jeremiah 21:12). Further we should not despair that we can do little, cynically allowing injustice to prevail further. “No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” (Edmund Burke) Seeking justice is therefore the substance of obedience to the Lord. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (2 James: 26)
Whether the issue is local, regional or national, there are those who say “let us simply 'obey'. We must say nothing, do nothing, tithe as usual, refrain from demanding redress for the wronged, back away from insisting on an accounting from our lay leaders, our clergy, our hierarchs; God will sort it out and judge the wrongdoers.” This seeming “obedience” is illogical and contrary to what the Lord expects of us. (When ongoing child abuse by a cleric is the issue, it is an unconscionable acquiescence to evil.) By not seeking justice here in this life, we turn from God not toward Him. We show that we lack vision, wisdom and most of all compassion. We retreat from our God-given ability to reflect the triumph of Our Risen Lord.