President’s Column for November, 2021

On September 26, Gregory C Carrow-Boyd was our guest speaker at our Sunday service. He used the quote “Justice is what love looks like in public.”  Here are a few words I wrote shortly after that sermon.

“Justice is what love looks like in public”.  I love the quote.  Because yes, justice is what love looks like in public. What a beautiful way to look at it. It’s all based on love. Love for your fellow man/woman.  If you have love in your heart. If you care about the sanctity of human life.  If you care about children. If you care about the stranger. If you care about all people no matter the color of their skin or where they come from then you must believe in justice.

He also spoke about equity versus equality. Justice doesn’t mean we all get the same exact things. It’s not equality but equity, getting what you deserve at the basic level. Equity means we all deserve food, shelter, fairness under the law.. Justice is what love looks like in public. In private, love is personal.  It’s a feeling between two people; romantic, friendly or parental.  But when it becomes public it is love for humanity. If you love humanity you want what is good for it.  You can’t cause harm to people and still love them. You can’t pollute the land on which they live and love them. You can’t deny them housing or decent food and still love them.  You can’t imprison people with no chance of reform if you love them.You can’t provide inadequate and unsafe schooling to people if you love them. If you love in public then you provide all that you can to give people a fair chance, a safe place to live, decent wages, decent opportunities, food, healthcare. These are the acts of love in public. This is justice. There is no turning away from this. There is no middle ground.

People say we should just send the refugees back to their country.  Even though by doing so we will send them back to starvation or violence. Justice requires an evaluation of what is needed. We have the resources. It’s bullshit to say we don’t. I’m not just talking about the U.S. Many countries can find more love and more peace and more justice. We can disinvest from the war making and the big corporate rich money making and turn that to love making–to justice making. We say we don’t have enough but we do. We just can’t figure out how to get it away from the military industrial complex and the fat cat C.E.O’s that make billions while we send Haitians back to die. There is no justice without love and no love without justice.

Black Lives Matter.  Such a simple statement, 3 words is all. Justice is Love and Justice is colorblind. When we say Black Lives Matter it is because so much is thrown at black people saying they don’t matter, they aren’t valued.  This injustice, this lack of love, this making of not mattering is the heart of it.  There is no love in not mattering, and there is love in mattering. Justice is mattering. Justice is love. Justice is what love looks like in public.