Jonah Goldberg’s opinion column on social justice in Monday’s Gazette is one of the worst opinion pieces I have ever read.
Goldberg starts out by stating that the concept of social justice is nonsense. He claims to have searched the literature for an agreed-upon definition of social justice and found none. What he is trying to do was equate social justice and socialism.
A simple internet search reveals that the Catholic Church has a definition, which has seven elements: Every person is made in the image and likeness of God; human dignity is realized in community with others and with all of creation; people have a fundamental right to life, food, shelter, health care, education and employment; a just society is achieved only when the needs of the poor in society are given first priority; we are called to work globally for justice; people have the right to decent and productive work, fair wages, private property and economic initiative; and our stewardship of the Earth is a kind of participation in God’s act of creating and sustaining the world.
Goldberg spends half of his column discussing distributive justice and retributive justice. His position is “if you didn’t get everything you think you deserve, it doesn’t mean I have to share some of mine.” Contrast that with the Catholic elements of social justice and you see how he misses the point.