The Ultimate Complaint Department

Complaint, Statement, Clipboard, Letter
Pixabay

In the current climate of perceived self-privilege, “Karen-ism,” and taking personal affront to anything that we don’t like hearing or seeing, it’s easy to resort to complaining.  “I want to talk to your supervisor,” seems to be the general topic of hundreds of YouTube videos.  But be careful at complaining too readily. 

Sometime shorty before the siege and capture of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, the prophet Habakkuk had his go at the complaining game.  He calls on God to do something about the evil, injustice, and idolatry in Israel.   When he finished his litany of grievances, God replies.  God says that He knows of the corruption of the leaders, and of the problems that Habakkuk has laid out.  He continues to say that He will indeed act.  In fact, God will allow the Babylonians to come and conquer the land.

This response catches Habakkuk on the back foot.  “They are worse than we are!” is essential Habakkuk’s reply to this news.  God nonetheless tell the prophet that this is what will come to pass, but to remember that it is God’s hands, not in men.  He tells Habakkuk that the righteous will live by faith, and in His appointed time Babylon will be brought down and punished for their evil.

Sometimes the cure for ills is not in our comfort, or in our “rights and privileges.”   Personally, I think that the pandemic has proven that.  The greater good, such as masks or self-isolations, outweighed individualism.  This is not a polemic for blind acquiescence to governmental authority, but instead a call for us to keep perspective.  Like Habakkuk we can rest assured in the end God’s will shall be done.

For those who may still pondering governmental links (if so, sorry I brought them up), remember that the “woes” that Habakkuk cited: unfair economic practices, human exploitation, corrupt rule, and the worship of power, will all be remembered by God, and the perpetrators will be held accountable. 

Next time then, before you head to the Complaint Department, or demand a manager, remember to weigh the situation in perspective, and the possibility that you might not like the answer.


Padre

Blind Justice

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It sometimes feels the Arlo Guthrie was a prophet.  The Alice’s Restaurant Massacre of 1967 featured a case of circumstantial evidence, in which a single envelope bearing the name and address of said Arlo Guthrie was discovered under a half ton of garbage.  This important forensic find prompted the “takin’ plaster tire tracks, footprints, dog-smellin’ prints and they took twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin’ what each one was, to be used as evidence against us took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner, the southwest corner and that’s not to mention the aerial photography!”  This of course came before the court where a “man came in, said, “All rise!” We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty-seven 8 times 10 colored glossy pictures, and the judge walked in, sat down, with a seein’ eye dog and he sat down. We sat down.”

Yes, justice can be blind in this way.  It isn’t “blind” as  in unbiased, but blind as in, “not seeing the what’s really important.”  I will not go so far as to say “if we test less we will have fewer cases,” or its parallel, “if we had had fewer laws we’d have fewer law breakers.”  What I am saying is that the exercise of, often sensible, statutes is marred by faulty application.  What the judicial mechanism prioritises, and therefore applies is often not fit for purpose.

An example of this is the recent lockdown restrictions here in the UK.  Covid 19 is a real threat.  Fair enough, but a restriction which said that we should be safely locked into our own homes except for getting a single period of outdoor exercise, led to the police fining said exercise-enthusiasts for resting on a bench for a moment after a run.  This is a poor example, but it is one of the “forest for the trees” kind of blindnesses I have referenced above.

I will stop my rant here before I even start to ethnic or age-related profiling.  But in the end is justice blind?  Yes, but not in the way it is meant to be.

 

Padre

 

Fandango’s Provocative Question #77:

Do you believe, with respect to the judicial system (or systems) in place where you live, that justice is, indeed, blind? Why do you feel that way?

Mothers’ Fears, Mothers’ Tears

Tears, Sad, Cry, Woman, Girl, Art, Portrait, Blue Art

Pixabay

I had two very moving and very similar conversations earlier this week, one with a Black American woman and the other a White South African.  They resonate in my heart, as they are not isolated.  I had one almost identical with an African-American woman a couple of years ago as she prepared to return to the USA.   Why moving?  They are moving because these are godly women, wanting no more that what’s best for their families, safety for their children, and to be able to live their lives without being targeted just for the colour of their skin, or the perceived “otherness” prescribed on them by others. Each is in my prayers, and each needs to be stood up and protected by those of us who have the means.

The distant cries of those oppressed

Tears of  worried mothers distressed

They seek not to – political be

But just to live and  – be happy

Yet fears for their little ones

Their hearts do fill

Helplessness overwhelming 

They too often feel

Let us who have a voice to speak

Call out for the justice that they seek

 

Padre