Justice for All

Songs & Stories From Home Episode 59





It goes back to the scriptures and back to the founders 

Back to what we pledged on our first day of school

Back to a dream of Martin Luther King

Back to what we mean by the Golden Rule

It’s a beautiful dream that says everyone’s equal

With rights to life, liberty, happiness too

A dream full of hope for a more perfect union

It’s still not too late for that dream to come true 


With faith we can fly on the wings of a dream

We still may become all we hoped we could be 

It will take everyone and we’ll have to believe

That we can fly on the wings of a dream


©Copyright 2020 Love Gives More Music


Welcome to Songs and Stories from Home as we continue on The Wings of a Dream. This week Justice for All.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. A pledge totaling thirty-one words that many if not most of us first recited in grade school standing next to our desks with our hands over our hearts. If you are like me, you memorized the words without really understanding them and continued to repeat them without really thinking about them. Yet now in the fall of 2020 on the eve of a national election we’re deciding, once again, in ways big and small, what those words could and should and do mean to us as individuals and to us as a nation. 

Sixteen years ago, at the Democratic National Convention a young and unknown Barack Obama introduced himself with the idea that we are not Red States and Blue States we are the United States, as much one nation indivisible as a nation of individuals. It is an idea, an ideal, that has for centuries helped us to define, give meaning and to understand what it is to be Americans. An idea that captured the imagination of a nation and helped make Obama President. With his election we welcomed a leader who for the first time did not look like all those who came before him. A step forward which was followed by a step backward. Which led us to a moment standing at a crossroads deciding how important it is to honor our pledge of Liberty and Justice for All.   

As a nation I see us offering Justice for All not simply as something we do but as something we are. When we believe we must and should be a just society working toward some greater good our actions become truly meaningful. When it comes to Justice for All, actions animated by five propositions. Earth Justice, Racial Justice, Economic Justice, Social Justice, and Restorative Justice

Without Earth Justice the idea of Justice for All becomes meaningless. For too long we have ignored or denied the idea that the world we inhabit is in serious trouble. Because humans are the cause of most of its maladies, we can and we must play a part in its cure. It has been too easy for too long to put off doing something for another day. If we wish to leave a livable world that our children and their children would be proud to inherit one day, the time to stop wishing and start working toward that goal is today.  

Racial Justice Slavery, the Jim Crow Laws that followed, and the Racist attitudes that continue are this country’s great crime against humanity and there is no statute of limitations. While what we have done and continue to do is shameful, if we are willing shame can be a doorway to grace, and truth and reconciliation a pathway to changing attitudes, actions, and toward a more perfect union.

Economic Justice For the last forty years it’s been politically potent to promise tax cuts as a panacea that will magically increase revenue without adding to the country’s debt or leading to unacceptable economic disparities. In 1980 George HW Bush called it what it was, Voodoo Economics. And yet for four decades we have chosen to believe the Witch Doctors instead of our own eyes and our own insights. Economic Justice can truly come when we believe that in the richest nation on earth it’s not too much for everyone to have enough.   

Social Justice More than a decade ago the promise of Universal Health Care, years in the making, was finally kept. In July of 2017 John McCain’s thumbs down to repealing that promise was a thumbs up to the idea that the health of a nation is tied to the health of its individuals. With that kind of thinking and that kind of political courage our chances improve for creating a society where all are welcome, welcoming and feel worthy.   

Restorative Justice There is talk these days about making economic reparations to the descendants of slaves upon whose backs this nation was largely built or to descendants of those who lived on this land for centuries before it was discovered by those who would make it a nation. As we continue to write the story of a nation, the time for such a conversation is long overdue. I would also add this. If there is truth to the idea that all stories are love stories, the greatest stories of all are those that include grace, both given and received.  

Some of the greatest stories contain promises and pledges that ring true in the human heart. Like Liberty and Justice for All.


I had a dream the other night

That our country somehow made things right

Was surprised at what it looked like

What had been there all along

We looked like one nation under God Indivisible 

With Liberty and Justice for All


With faith we can fly on the wings of a dream

We still may become all we hoped we could be 

It will take everyone and we’ll have to believe

That we can fly on the wings of a dream