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Social Justice in Christianity (and everything else)


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#1 Karen

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:59 PM

So first off, I would like to say I am SOOOOO SORRY I haven't been around much. I know this section has been kind of dead lately, and I really do apologize for that. I want to start spicing it up a little but more! I've been very busy with school and over my spring break I was doing observation hours so I didn't really have time to post. But yeah! Here it is, a new topic for y'all.

Also, a warning: This is a really long post, but please take the time to read!

So firstly I would like to say that even though I put the title as "social justice in Christianity" this is a topic for everyone, but I've been thinking about it as a Christian so that's why I decided to specify in the topic.

Now I'd like to explain what social justice is. Social justice is the act of fixing social problems in the world through activism and education. What is a social justice issue? There are many! Some of the more common ones include modern day slavery/sex trafficking, poverty/homelessness, and fair trade clothing and food. Please look them up if you don't know what they are! They are all VERY important (I'll put some pictures later).

So I've been thinking about these issues in relation to Christianity. As a Christian and lover of all, what is my role in these issues? Do I have an obligation to help fix them if they don't affect me? And even though I've been thinking about these questions for myself, I think everyone should think about them!

The answers I've come to are: Yes, I do have an obligation to fix them, or to at least educate myself about them, and get involved where I can! As a Christian, the Bible says to love everyone and even though it can be difficult to love some people, I certainly am trying! But love isn't exclusive to the people who have it all. It's inclusive to everyone, the poorest of the poor, and people who have been looked over by society. Who will do it, if people don't step up with a passion for it?

So what do you all think? What is your role in this world? Do you say, "yeah, bad stuff happens, but it doesn't happen to me so it's all good.", or "Yeah, the world is a messed up place. I donate money sometimes...." or do you say "Yes the world is a bad place but there are also good people, and I want to help!"

Why do we have an obligation to help? We've become so desesitized today by everything we see on tv, and poverty or murders just seem commonplace. But there are people truly suffering in this world! How can we help them? And why do so many people just look them over?

I find it helpful to give examples. There really are some huge issues in the world, and I start to feel helpless when I think about all of them. Instead, I have learned about a couple that I have found to be really important to me. The first one is modern day slavery and sex trafficking, and the second is Native American rights in the United States. Modern day slavery happens way more often than we'd like to admit. Women and children are sold into slavery and this could be anything from the sex trade to indentured servitude in a house.

Here are a couple resources:
-The first one is a great organization called Not For Sale, and one of the key elements of their site is a slavery map and you can type in your location and see where there have been slavery cases and what happened.
http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ - their website
Slavery Map - http://www.slaverymap.org/

The second one is a great foundation in the Boston Area, where I'm from, and it's called Amirah, Inc. Amirah is a foundation that helps women in the Boston area who have been affected by trafficking: http://www.amirahboston.org/

And here is a song called "Constance" that talks about sex trafficking: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=qqyLRpGgxRs

Now finally, some pictures:

Poverty on the Pine Rige Reservation
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Human Trafficking:
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Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
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#2 Kim.

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:26 AM

I think you bring up some good points, but i'd love the thread to be a broader scope of social justice. Yours and my views may differ slightly on Christianity. I do believe about 95% of what you say; the remaining 5% is heresay.

I do think as a Christian, that it should be our role to do good in the world...through acts of non-violence/peace, activism, and befriending people of other faiths to show our deliberate acts against judgment and exclusivity of others.

The sex-trade and trafficking industry is absolutely horendous. I often cannot bring myself to listen to other victims' stories. My church is HUGE on taking care of victims such as these. Everyday, an amazing woman I know...who has her own office...works as a volunteer from morning to night in trying to get these victims--many of whom are from other countries--appropriate asylum/refugee immigration statuses. I cannot fathom her level of dedication; I truly admier her.

Now, for what I differ in: maybe it's because I found faith at a crossroads later in life, but I grew up with the inborn capacity for nurturing others no matter what creed, culture, race, sexual orientation they hail from. It may be my duty as a Christian to embrace these neighbors and work toward social justice to pick up the marginalized and give them what they need, but I had already adopted that much further before I identified completely as a christian. I think it should be a natural right and responsibility of humanity.

Issues close to my heart: sexual abuse (this includes everything from sexual assault to abuse to victims of the sex trade/trafficking), women's crisis, the current state of our food supply, and immigration. My church is VERY heavily involved in immigration reform. They rock my socks off and give me such a positive, determined example of not stopping for what one believes in despite setbacks. Our work has spanned national, regional, and international newspapers, reports, and periodicals.

This spring, I plan on getting my certification in crisis counseling and advocacy. It's a very intensive training course, but I have a feeling it would bring me farther than I can ever imagine in terms of healing (I was once assaulted at 18). Becoming a Sexual Assault Support Services Advocate doesn't mean you need to have the answers for everything, but enables you to be a guiding light for women and/or men who are going through atrocious and terrifying times.

My philosophy on social justice is much more centralized in short-term and broad scoped in the long-term. I tend to be very low-key with my actions. I volunteer at a Fair Trade. Non-profit organization that picked me up as a seasonal hire this past season. So, I look at the internal organizaton; I tend to get overwhelmed when systems are so broken and the problem is so giant, so I dedicate my time to specifically using my talents for productive actions. I tend to gain experience in many different fields and think on long-term, connecting people together so that a larger network of people with particular strengths can enable a place, organization, etc. I operate in to have a broader scope and decisive strategies for complex problems.

I'm also contemplating getting involved in a community with direct roots to education and activism that would make bisexuality a more visible orientation in the larger community than it is now. Many things to come for the future. ^_^
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A BIG thanks to the beautiful BoMa, my big sister <3. I know I haven't been around much to talk, but you're more than amazing and I'm so happy to receive this graphic as a gift. Thanks for being so kind-hearted. ;)

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"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstance. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." -George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright.

#3 Karen

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:22 PM

I do think as a Christian, that it should be our role to do good in the world...through acts of non-violence/peace, activism, and befriending people of other faiths to show our deliberate acts against judgment and exclusivity of others.

The sex-trade and trafficking industry is absolutely horendous.

Now, for what I differ in: maybe it's because I found faith at a crossroads later in life, but I grew up with the inborn capacity for nurturing others no matter what creed, culture, race, sexual orientation they hail from. It may be my duty as a Christian to embrace these neighbors and work toward social justice to pick up the marginalized and give them what they need, but I had already adopted that much further before I identified completely as a christian. I think it should be a natural right and responsibility of humanity.

Issues close to my heart: sexual abuse (this includes everything from sexual assault to abuse to victims of the sex trade/trafficking), women's crisis, the current state of our food supply, and immigration. My church is VERY heavily involved in immigration reform. They rock my socks off and give me such a positive, determined example of not stopping for what one believes in despite setbacks. Our work has spanned national, regional, and international newspapers, reports, and periodicals.

This spring, I plan on getting my certification in crisis counseling and advocacy. It's a very intensive training course, but I have a feeling it would bring me farther than I can ever imagine in terms of healing (I was once assaulted at 18). Becoming a Sexual Assault Support Services Advocate doesn't mean you need to have the answers for everything, but enables you to be a guiding light for women and/or men who are going through atrocious and terrifying times.

I'm also contemplating getting involved in a community with direct roots to education and activism that would make bisexuality a more visible orientation in the larger community than it is now. Many things to come for the future. ^_^


Everything you say is very true!

I do agree that as a PERSON it should be a natural right to learn about these issues and do something about it, however, many people don't feel that way or just don't know how to get involved. Even though I've technically been a Christian all my life, I didn't really start to get involved with social justice until this year because I fould people who encouraged me and taught me that my small voice can make a really big difference!

I'm also really proud of you getting your acceptance at simmons :D yayyyy go you!! and you getting your crisis certificate :D
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Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Ninja Crew! <3
Daughter:Amber. Auntie: Sarah. Sisters: Prongs, Stefanie, and lindalumos. Brother: Ardi.

#4 Emmas Friend

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:42 PM

There are so many people in the World today, who for one reason or another are living in Poverty, Neglect, Starvation, etc. Some people help those who are unfortunate to be living a real tough life, by giving to charities and doing voluntary work. I think people who believe in the Christian Faith, should do what they can for these people. Whether it be donating to charity, finacially or in a more direct way, by caring for sick and needy people. God said, 'Love thy Neighbour', so the way I look at it is, that neighbour might live the other side of the World to me, I most probably will never meet him/her, but because of my Christian and Moral beliefs, I will try to help them.
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