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Is Social Justice Dying?

May 5, 2010

In American culture we tend to help the poor to feel good about ourselves. We talk about helping the poor, stopping poverty, and practicing social justice, but statistics are showing a disturbing trend, a trend away from practically doing what we are talking about.

In Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, there has been a

  • 25% decline in voting in the last 30 years
  • 5o% decline in participation in social, civic, and fraternal organizations
  • 10% decline in church attendance
  • 50% decline in church activities outside of attending church services
  • Substantial decline in the percentage of both citizens and the portion of their income devoted to philanthropy and charity
  • Significant decrease in the portion of income that is given away now than a generation ago. A generation ago they gave a significantly smaller portion of their income away then they did a generation before that.
  • Decrease in volunteerism in almost every age category

Why is the trend moving away from these actions when we seem to be talking about them more?

Has social justice become a passe term? Does it have a negative connotation to people?

How can we become more missionally minded to live focused away from ourselves and towards others?

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