The Satanic Temple has seven core guiding principles called the tenets. This series of posts explores them, which may include what it means to me in my life, comparison to other belief systems, and so on.
The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
Photo from Newsweek.com, “Justice ain’t much if you can’t afford it”
While each tenet calls to me, Justice is especially important in my book. And it’s far more complex than what many in our nation, The United States, simplify as right and wrong.
See, I changed my name when I was younger. Why? Because Antigone looked at what was morally right, ethically right, and legally right, weighed them all against each other, and then decided how best to balance them when taking action.
Similarly, Justice is about this same balance. What’s legally right may not be ethically right, and the universe will handle the consequences accordingly.
As a member of The Satanic Temple, my goal is to dig deeper into this balance, both for myself and for those whose consequences I can assist with. Keep in mind this assistance could be in terms of support provided to someone going through difficult times due social injustices or the level of concern shown to someone keeping to the letter of law while breaking its intent.
This is quite different than the Radical Right’s view of right and wrong. They’re all about the maximum punishment for those who’ve slighted them, even though it’s usually an imaginary slight. But when some fake pundit gets their manties in a twist, suddenly laws are guidelines. And yes, this includes their god’s laws, because some artificial balance needs to be restored.
The Scales of Justice aren’t that simple, and they’re certainly not that mamby-pamby. True justice should take the whole picture into account, rather than adhere to some cold, hard boundaries. Yeah, I said should, a word dripping with judgement.
In fact, the nuns in Catholic School taught me that the laws of man are both limited and limiting, and that god’s laws are contextual. This framing works for me with one caveat. The laws of god are still laws of men because men wrote those laws. We can go into that whole divine inspiration thing ad nauseum, but at the end of the day, men wrote them down.
Therefore I see the laws of men as both limited and limiting, and are to be viewed in the context of when and why they were written.
- As a woman, laws regarding rape are going to impact me differently than they impact men.
- Having white skin means inequalities are going to impact me differently than other ethnic groups.
- Being middle aged, I will see things differently than someone in their 20s, even if only because I need reading glasses to see it.
Justice, therefore, must be contextual.
Someone with limited brain power (irrespective of education) requires a single context, which is why our legal system is most lenient toward white men. Historically speaking, middle-aged white men wrote most of our laws. Therefore the context is whatever middle-aged white men deem important, as in, what they want to be able get away with.
To me, TST’s expectation is to contextually apply the spirit of rules and laws to best fit those involved at that time. This may be harder to do, but I believe the reward is a far more equitable future that lifts us all. I’d say fair & balanced, but, well, there’s a lotta social baggage in those three little words.