Social Justice (Published in The Gregorian, May 2009 Edition) 
By Vinny Varghese, St. Gregorios Fishkill

 

What is social justice? It is a political and economic issue that baffles nations throughout the world because of their inability to achieve it. Social justice is the idea that justice can be achieved in every aspect of a society and not only in law. This means that all people are treated fairly in every way. It is major concept in many religions, including Christianity.

One biblical story portrays social justice in action. Naboths’s Vineyard of 1 Kings: 21 show this. Naboth’s Vineyard talks about the injustice done by King Ahab of Israel. King Ahab wants Naboth’s vineyard because it is close to his palace. He wants to make it a vegetable garden. King Ahab offers to buy it or exchange it for a better vineyard. Naboth refuses to give the vineyard to King Ahab because it has been with his family for generations. King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, proposes a plan to get the vineyard. She proclaims a day of fasting with Naboth as the place of honor. She then got people to falsely accuse Naboth of treason and blasphemy. Therefore Naboth would be stoned to death. Once Naboth was killed, Jezebel told her husband, King Ahab to get the vineyard. On his way to the vineyard, King Ahab meets Elijah. Elijah has a message from God for King Ahab. God says that King Ahab will be eaten by dogs and birds just like Naboth was and his entire family will be cursed. God shows mercy on King Ahab, but vowed the punishment will be during his son’s time.


Social justice is portrayed in this biblical story. King Ahab unfairly took Naboth’s vineyard, although done legally under law. King Ahab received his punishment for doing something so wrong. This shows how justice was achieved through God. Social justice may be difficult to achieve through law, but through God, there will always be justice. A society in which every aspect of a person’s life is fair may seem impossible, but through God, there will be justice. Naboth’s vineyard is just one of the many biblical stories of social justice through God. Social justice is the idea that justice can be achieved in every aspect of a society and not only in law.

**********************************