"A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight." (Proverbs 11:1)
We live in a consumer society, and sadly the law itself is often determined by consumerism. The revelations coming out concerning Jack Abramoff's dealings with lawmakers remind us that many laws are not decided on the merits, but on the money associated with them. This is a false balance -- more "weight" is given to the moneyed interests than to the voices of opposition with fewer dollars.
Another false balance in our society is abortion. Yesterday morning, I heard the opening shots fired at judge Sam Alito. The questions concerned abortion and whether Alito, if appointed to the Supreme Court, would keep abortion legal. I wasn't surprised these questions were asked, but I was taken aback by the shameless way abortion was paraded as our seemingly most valuable right. To give such "weight" to the legality of abortion is an atrocity. Far from being our most valuable right, it is a sign of our societal degradation. This too is a false balance, an unjust weight.
Remember the song we learned as kids, "This land is your land, this land is my land"? I think it is helpful to remember that we as Americans share more in common than just land. Even if we seek to value life and avoid greed, our elected representatives still "represent" us far too well. Our selfishness may not be expressed in kickbacks or the termination of an unwanted child, but it surely finds a way to express itself. We need to humbly beg God's forgiveness, for ourselves as well as our nation.
Proverbs 11:1 tells us that God hates false scales and unjust weights. But it is not apples God is most concerned about, but the fruit of our lives. What is our selfishness doing to those around us? How can we replace selfishness with the kind of selflessness which pleases God?