No Peace Without Justice

ROTTERDAM, Jul 15 (IPS) – “Human rights organisations all over the world will celebrate the tenth anniversary Jul. 17 of the adoption of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is the first and only permanent international criminal tribunal to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Interview with human rights promoter Dorota Gierycz: “…I believe that yes, there is a very difficult initial period when there is this kind of tension between justice and peace, but in the long run there can be no peace without justice, and if we just keep pushing things under the rug there will be no room for genuine understanding and consolidation of the society and democracy.”

Pushing things under the rug is an age-old activity of humans when they wish to commit a crime or when they feel they just need a break from moral responsibility.

Holding things high in the full light of the sun can be painful. Making the effort to use tact and diplomacy while still pursuing rigorous truth is hard work. It seems mere humans can’t regularly accomplish these desirable goals.

Well, I’m here to say that humans can’t accomplish peace and justice if what they depend upon is just their human powers.

We have more than animal bodies for a reason. Our bodies (and our minds and hearts subjugated to the body) will always vote for the easy path, even if it leads to war—war between nations, members of a family, neighbors…

So, where’s the “instruction book” so many people claim we don’t have?

“The Heavenly Books, the Bible, the Qur’án, and the other Holy Writings have been given by God as guides into the paths of Divine virtue, love, justice and peace.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 61

“The fundamental spiritual truth of our age is the oneness of humanity. Universal acceptance of this principle — with its implications for social and economic justice, universal participation in non-adversarial decision-making, peace and collective security, equality of the sexes, and universal education — will make possible the reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Apr 01, Sustainable Development and the Human Spirit

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16 thoughts on “No Peace Without Justice

  1. alexander, i really like this format. i also like how you start each post with an image.

    while i agree that there are numerous “instruction books” available to help us, i also have this comment:

    you say

    “humans can’t accomplish peace and justice if what they depend upon is just their human powers.

    we have more than animal bodies for a reason. our bodies (and our minds and hearts subjugated to the body) will always vote for the easy path, even if it leads to war—war between nations, members of a family, neighbors…”

    perhaps we CAN accomplish peace and justice if we use our human powers as opposed to our human weaknesses. if we use reason, compassion, and patience.

    perhaps thinking and living in terms of subjugation – a military metaphor – wears us out so much that we only have energy left for the easy path?

    perhaps the easy path just LOOKS easy?

    i’m not saying that i have the answers, just proposing some ideas.

  2. Isabella,

    Perchance I could have written more clearly…

    To me “…reason, compassion, and patience…” Are spiritual powers.

    Truth be told, I went with vernacular connotations I used the word “human”–most folk tend to equate it with less than spiritual–I feel (and will stress in future posts) that the human aspects Are the spiritual aspects.

    Thank you for making me reach toward further clarity !

    AS far as “subjugation”, far too many folk live with their truly spiritual qualities subjugated to their animal instincts…

    Again, you call me to more clarity: “easy” was used ironically, at least in my mind…

    One of these days, I’ll have completely recovered from the Hep C treatments and then I can feel embarrassed by my lack of clarity . . .


  3. I agree with Isabella about the new format. Images do effectively ‘set the stage.’

    One view is that the only acceptable response to human behavior is love and compassion. This isn’t compatible with the court and other systems set up to judge and punish.

  4. Liara,

    My best response to your comment is this quote:

    “The foundation of the Kingdom of God is laid upon justice, fairness, mercy, sympathy and kindness to every soul. Then strive ye with heart and soul to practice love and kindness to the world of humanity at large, except to those souls who are selfish and insincere. It is not advisable to show kindness to a person who is a tyrant, a traitor or a thief because kindness encourages him to become worse and does not awaken him. The more kindness you show to a liar the more he is apt to lie, for he thinks that you know not, while you do know, but extreme kindness keeps you from revealing your knowledge.”
    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 412

  5. I too think that if we come from love and leave judgements behind us the world will become connected to God. It is seperateness that is hurting us the most.
    I am not so sure about your last quote, what I know is that thngs have been translated out of context of their times. Not showign kindness may mean …… there is nothing said about what we must show in its place…….but I am sure it will not be aggression….

    BTW format is great, I was borne in Rotterdam and loved the picture 🙂
    Love Wilma

  6. Wilma,

    I thoroughly agree, not showing kindness to a tyrant does not automatically mean showing aggression.

    Just like refusing a child some goodies when they’ve misbehaved does not mean you’ve ceased to love them…

  7. Your blog and your incisive writing is a work of art and a wonderful source of education. I’m going to recommend it to many friends and family members. Thanks for showing us that clear Light that is shining within you. Keep on shining!
    All the best,

  8. This is another way of perceiving and treating every being:

    Kindness in words creates confidence.
    Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
    Kindness in giving creates love.


  9. Brandi !

    Thanks for the encouragement and don’t lose faith in the human spirit, eventually, rising to its destined heights!

    Hey, you back home yet?

  10. I like the image thing, too. (surprise, surprise!)
    What you’re doing with the news will actually enable me to take in more of it, ’cause on my own I assiduously avoid news reports, feeling they are too negative as presented by established venues, not to mention sorted due to politics (Another anathema. Sp’tui![that’s me spittin’ at the mere mention of that subject]). Your interpretations tend to be anything but more of the same. And I love, love, Love the quotes. I guess that’s me sayin’ I like the format (I mean, if there has to be “news” this is the way to get it;-).

    As to this piece: I don’t think humans can ACCOMPLISH peace; we can only allow it. It is the natural way of life, I think. Our attempts to “accomplish” this, that, and the other are what have hidden this from us. Opening in this direction, perhaps, leads to…intimations, at least, of Divine…order, it seems to be–ahh! The tv is on behind me, making it even harder to focus. I’ll be back.

    But before I go: I just discovered your Hep C posts. Man! My man, would that I had known you last year! My own 48 wk. ordeal ended in Oct.’07. Most of my blogging from that year is rather tainted with ravages that only one such as yourself could relate to. Anyway, I just had (a little late, I’m afraid) my 6 month blood test, don’t have the results yet. Uhhh, no point here–oh yeah! I don’t know how long the after-effects last, so I don’t even know how different I “should” be at this point. (Being an incorrigible introvert, I joined no support group)

    I’ll be back in touch.
    Thank you, Alex, for being there.

  11. ” I don’t think humans can ACCOMPLISH peace”

    Ah, so… Wisdom shines!!!

    Hep C? Whew! Have a friend that just cracked a rib and she asked how I was doing (I’m 2.6 months past TX). Here’s what I said:

    “A broken rib is a noble injury–painful, somewhat scary, possibly humbling–all clean and upright suffering.
    “Hep C treatment is evil, obnoxious, ugly, and degrading…
    “My recovery (2.6 months now, out of a purported 6 total) is bouncing along like a crazed hippie on stilts. My strength is continually increasing (replacing muscle mass that was wasted by the drugs), my nervous system is communicating fairly well with my muscles but still makes my body angry with stray surges of meaningless energy. My mind is about 50% and my emotions are still in the trashcan…”

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