Volume 13, Issue 3: Magistralis
Primer in Postmodern Law
Gregory C. Dickison
Life used to be simple. If a muscle-bound he-man kicked sand in the face of a
ninety-eight-pound weakling, the weakling had three options: (a) call the cops, (b) sue the he-man for sand damage,
or (c) lift weights and beat the tar out of the he-man. Whichever option the weakling picked,
justice would be done on a personal level. The law would judge between these two men as individuals.
That was then; this is the postmodern now. Postmodernists don't think in terms of individual
or personal justice. Postmodernists see the world as groups of muscle-bound he-men kicking sand
in the faces of groups of ninety-eight-pound weaklings. The he-man group makes all the rules,
the chief aims of which are, to make sure that the he-men get to keep kicking sand, and the
weakling groups have to keep taking it. While the he-men talk as if their rules were an embodiment of
truth, the rules are entirely subjective and arbitrary, with no claim on or relationship to any
absolutes. The status quo of he-man (oppressor) and weakling (oppressed) continues until the weaklings
figure out the game and get hold of one of those ads in the back of the Archie comic books showing
how they too can become he-men. The weaklings then challenge the he-men's rules, demanding
that they be allowed to kick some sand too. The weaklings insist that they be allowed to make
some rules of their own, until the he-men and the weaklings have an equal status, or until the order
is reversed entirely.1 According to the postmodernist, the he-men are basically male, white, Christian, and wealthy.
The weaklings are everybody else: the
colored,2 nonmale,3 non-Christian, and poor among us. Postmodern
justice is measured by the success of the weakling groups in getting the he-men to stop kicking sand.
"But, wait," you say. "Isn't it true that certain groups have oppressed other groups throughout
history? Haven't whites oppressed blacks, men oppressed women, and he-men oppressed weaklings? Shouldn't
Christians want justice to be done?"
Yes, Christians should want justice to be done. The problem is that when we define justice by
the postmodern paradigm, justice is the last thing we end up doing.
Christians understand that justice is objective. Justice is not, as the postmodernist claims, an
arbitrary set of rules concocted by the he-men to keep the weaklings in their place. In such a Darwinian world,
where the strong survive by preying on the weak, and where might makes right, stopping the oppression of
the weakling by the he-man is a hopeless goal. It is only possible to rearrange who oppresses whom. In
the postmodern worldview, where groups make rules to benefit primarily themselves, oppression is
inevitable. Only God's transcendent law can bring freedom from the struggle.
Postmodernists pervert justice not only by denying its true objective source but also by denying its
object. Postmodernists talk in terms of groups of people, much the same way they would describe the behavior
of animals. The herd of weaklings struggles against the herd of he-men. In the postmodern paradigm,
personality is lost.
But this kind of group classification is
spurious.4 To say that men oppress women, that whites
oppress blacks, or that the rich oppress the impoverished is to make a false extrapolation. It is true that
particular men oppress particular women, and that particular whites oppress particular blacks, and that particular
fat cats oppress particular poor folk. But it is just as true that other particular people have never
oppressed anyone in their lives, and that particular people have never been oppressed by anyone. Injustice is
personal. Being part of a particular group does not make you a
In the world the way God made it, the nature of a covenant body is expressed through the personalities
of its individual members. The covenant exists for the benefit of the people in it. Postmodernism flips
that around. Individuals are only vehicles for advancing the cause of the group. Isolated victims, both real
and fictional, become mere symbols of "our" racism, sexism, or other postmodern sin.
The result is all sorts of legal silliness. We now have hate-crime legislation, domestic violence
legislation, class-action lawsuits, affirmative action, multiculturalism, etc. In some instances, it is not necessary
that anyone actually did anything wrong to you in particular. It is sufficient that you are identified with a
group that is deemed to be a ninety-eight-pound weakling, and that some members of that group (or their
ancestors) may have at some time had sand kicked in their faces by muscle-bound he-men.
In the world God made, justice is based on His sure word, which He revealed to men. There is one
law for everyone. In Christ, there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, black nor white nor yellow nor
red. There is only the covenant of grace and peace. Postmodernists hate that and set themselves up against
it. Fortunately, because God made the rules He did, postmodernists are ninety-eight-pound weaklings. We
need to kick sand in their faces.