I have been fascinated by government and politics since I was a very little girl. My parents often tell people that I had the ambition of being prime minister before most kids even knew that such a position existed! So I didn’t need a philosophy of politics or government to convince me that they were good things.
In the past two years since I came to CPJ, I’ve done a fair amount of reading that has demonstrated this is not a universal view among Christians. Most recently, I read Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, which I reviewed on this blog. In that blog post, I promised to do a follow-up post on the public justice view of government. I may have stretched the definition of “soon” just a little bit, but I am finally making good on my promise. Read more »
CPJ’s principled approach to public policy is captured in the concept of public justice. Rooted in Scripture, public justice unfolds in human history as God continues with redemptive work in creation. It provides norms for decision-making, not a recipe book for good government, a formula for a just society, or a list of isolated moral issues for Christians to address. Read more »
God's intention for us is that we live in love and justice with our sisters and brothers all over the world, and in harmony and stewardship with creation, worshipping our God and celebrating our redemption through Jesus Christ. Yet when we try to live out that intention, we run into roadblocks arising from human disobedience, as well as from the political, economic and social structures which we've built. These structures are also a part of the brokenness of this world, and we must work to change them as part of our response to God's law of love and justice.
Citizens for Public Justice is a national Christian political organization dedicated to resolving the structural problems which contribute to injustice and which hinder us from being the kind of people whom God wants us to be. Our Guidelines for Christian Political Service and Charter of Social Rights and Responsibilities reflect our understanding of how we should try to live responsibly.
These documents have been gradually shaped and refined by the staff, board and members of CPJ over the years as we have struggled together to understand the implications of God's intention for us. The Guidelines and the Charter cannot just be plugged into any given situation to provide a straightforward ruling on what is a "correct" Christian response. In this complex world, no such simple system could exist. The Guidelines and the Charter are not the last word on a Christian vision for political justice. However, they can help us make better decisions.Read more »