This Should Not Be

I have always had a passion for issues of justice.  I have this on good authority from my parents.  (Apparently I used to say, ‘That’s not fair!’ a lot.  Obviously, some may translate this as a small child being annoyed at not getting her own way.  I myself prefer to see it as an early protest against the corrupt social system that sustains inequality and tyranny.)

As an adult, I must confess, I’m politically inept and probably hopelessly naive.
I look at the news, and think, ‘How can it be right to lower the taxes for the richest in the country, whilst taking away benefits from the most vulnerable in society?’

I think, ‘How can it be right to imprison a womanwho is the victim of violence and rape while her attacker goes free?’
I think, ‘How can we stand living in a world where 18,000 children die every DAY of starvation  because they don’t have enough food, while voluntary overeating is so rife in rich countries that we refer to obesity as an ‘epidemic’?’
As I say, I don’t claim to really understand the political reasons why these things happen and why we don’t do anything about them.  I appreciate that these areas belong to the expertise of economists, lawyers, businesses and politicians and that they are complex and riddled with compromise. I know that life is messy and flawed and that compromise and conflict are an inevitable part of that.  I acknowledge that as a species we are all, basically, pretty selfish and  we all have different values and agendas, and we are fighting over finite resources.
I appreciate that there are people in the political and business spheres who want to make a difference, and that it is not easy forging ahead whilst trying to balance so many conflicting interests.  I know that I live a privileged life, and that I myself  am a beneficiary of the inequalities of the world’s wealth, and that these things are not simple.  I know that most of the time we don’t have the luxury of choosing the ‘right’ thing to do, we can only choose the lesser of two (or forty) evils.
We need pragmatists, compromisers and deal-makers. (At least, I think we do. It doesn’t always sit well with me.)  We need visionaries who can think of new solutions and fresh ways through.
But we also need the prophets.  We need those who look at the world and point out the darkness.  We need people who look at sin and call it sin, not ‘protection of our assets.’  We need the idealists, the dreamers who can look at the world simply and declare: ‘This should not be’.
Bullying of disabled people? This should not be.
Trafficking of women and children for prostitution and slavery? This should not be.
Poverty and starvation, greed and corruption? This should not be.
I am not a politician or activist.  I don’t really know how to make it better.  But I do know that we won’t change at all if we don’t at least start recognising that this world is not as it should be.  I do not wish to be acquiescing by my silence.
In some ways it seems pointless and puny to be reading articles, retweeting links, writing letters to MPs.  It is a depressing and draining process, and it often feels like I’m the only one who cares and the only one who’s speaking.  But the role of a prophet always was a lonely business.
I don’t like being the one who looks at the wrong of the world and feels it and weeps over it and despairs and rages.  But I  have a feeling that’s what God does and that, to the extent that we are able, He wants us to do so too.

But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:24)

This is my rallying cry: ‘This should not be.’  Who’s with me?
Over to you:

  • What issues do you ‘righteously rage’ over? (If you like, you can just put the issue or issues particularly close to your heart, together with the phrase: ‘this should not be’).

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11 Responses to This Should Not Be

  1. Cat 16th March, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Amen! Love this post and I stand with you saying “This should not be!”

  2. Anna France-Williams 16th March, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Violence against women, women needlessly dying in childbirth, children dying of preventable causes like malaria or Aids related illnesses, racial injustice. THIS SHOULD NOT BE.

  3. sandra delemare 16th March, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    I could so have written this – good to know we are not alone. Years ago God said to me ‘prophet’ – and I’m still trying to figure out what I am to do about that.
    keep going
    be blessed

  4. Alice 15th March, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Amen! I’m writing a post for world downs syndrome day which is next week – very similar themes! God puts justice in our hearts but our hearts feel weak. Keep speaking up. Xxx

  5. Joanna 15th March, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    The poorest women in our society (and their children) are bearing the brunt of our government’s austerity measures. ‘this should not be’.
    Thanks for a great post. If this was a talk, I might stand up and shout ‘preach it, sister!’ (Even though I am both introvert and British!)

  6. Kevin 15th March, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Well said Tanya!
    I posted this on another Blog recently about justice and fairness: perhaps we should all take up the ‘Micah Challenge’ seriously – as they take their inspiration from the prophet, Micah. “He has shown you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6v8

    • Tanya 16th March, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Thanks, Kevin – the Micah challenge sounds great!

  7. Jenny P 15th March, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I would like to say This should not be along with you.

    Thanks for doing the lonely prophet thing and praise God for social media that it all feels that bit less lonely.

    God question to ask ourselves: What Would Jeremiah Tweet?!

    • Tanya 16th March, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks – and love your question, ‘what would Jeremiah Tweet?’ Given the size of his book, I suspect he may struggle to stay within the 140 character limit!


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