Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. (Reinhold Niebuhr, late theologian)

The unruly protests and even violent riots of last month well illustrate both of Niebuhr’s observations. The hue and cry for justice for those who have been treated unfairly by authorities is a legitimate concern of free people. But the resultant behavior, which has become too common, demonstrates man’s need to hear and respond to the righteous demands of God.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)