“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?”
“I will with God’s help.”
So began Shelby County Public Defender Stephen C. Bush’s faith journey as an Episcopalian. And so began his recent special contribution to the Faith in Memphis section of the Commercial Appeal.
In this piece, Bush described how this promise still shapes his efforts to seek fairness, equality, dignity and justice for all people… as the leader of one of the oldest public defender systems in the nation.
We can all agree that everyone should get a “fair shake.” Yet most of us living within middle-class families do not often directly touch the justice system, While we can feel satisfied that our country has programs and systems in place to serve those in need, we often cannot appreciate what it means to be at the mercy of these social services.
Bush contends that the challenge of serving impoverished clients in the poorest big city in the U.S. cannot be fully addressed by the staff of the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender. He offers that real justice starts in the community, and that in a community so defined by its people of faith, Bush challenges us all to “strive for justice and peace among all people . . . with God’s help.”