The Satisfaction of Justice (Django Unchained)

djangoThis is a reflection of Django Unchained. It has uncountable racial slurs and is ultra violent, typical of a Tarantino movie. It is not recommended for kids and for those who are unable to stomach bloody brutal graphic violence. I should not approve of this movie but I do. Why? It screams for justice.

How do we deal with injustice? A sense of justice flows in the blood of every human being created in the image of a just and righteous God (Gen 1:27, 18:25). Whenever and however injustice happens, our blood boils over and our very beings want to explode and demand justice. Surely, this is because our God is the God of justice, with justice being intricately and inseparably intertwined with righteousness (Ps 89:14; 103:6; Isa 9:7; 33:5; Amos 5:24). As Abraham’s descendants through Christ, we are called to do what is right and just (Gen 18:19).

Justice expressed through vengeance. Django (Jamie Foxx) is a black slave. He was bought by Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a white bounty hunter. They became partners and friends. They search for Django’s wife, a slave owned by a racist plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). The extreme violence and brutality caused me to cringe. But there was a deep satisfaction to it because every “bad bastard” gets their due (excuse my language), which you knew was coming as you watched the movie. Hopefully, this is not a spoiler. It is like a Western Dirty Harry with Django playing the part.

No one likes injustice. We might expect injustice from non-Christians, but not from Christians. But both non-Christians and Christians alike commit injustice, because Christians are still sinners with blind spots and self righteousness. How do we Christians deal with injustice? We should not do so like Django or Dirty Harry. Nonetheless, we should always fight for what is right and just through Christ and the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).

Attractive biblical themes in movies. As Les Miserables proclaims mercy and grace, Django Unchained screams for righteousness and justice. Both are highly attractive biblical themes that might account for the mass appeal of both movies.

How do we address and deal with injustice as Christians (without killing anyone)?


  1. I think we need a few articles about cute bunnies and fluffy kittens!

    I haven’t seen this movie, and I don’t think I could stomach it.

    A few thoughts on injustice though…

    What is the source? One source of injustice is power. Someone wants power and glory, and won’t let it go. It is said that power concedes nothing without a demand. So I think first we need to identify the source of the injustice. Is the source power and control? Then we must make clear demands.

    Are we dealing with perceived injustice? Sometimes we feel hurt when the source of the problem may be inside us. Emotions can indeed be misleading. Sometimes it is our pride that is cut, and we need to humble ourselves. This is not always the case, but we must have a rather large dose of self-inspection and self-awareness before confronting any real injustice.

    Again, I come back to the gospel messages Jesus proclaimed. Jesus said we do not only lose our life for Him as His followers, but for the gospel as well. I believe the gospel is the ultimate answer to injustice. All the ugly, brutal, horrific sins of mankind were dealt with on the cross. That foundational grace should guide us into addressing injustice head on, without flattery and without pity, and with courage, conviction and hope.

    Most of all, we need the Spirit to guide us. We need the Spirit’s guidance to know when to be forceful, when to be gentle, when to speak up loudly and when to be silent.

  2. Joe Schafer

    Articles about cute bunnies and fluffy kittens? Psychologists have found that exposure to such things makes people more aggressive:

  3. Since I am clearly not cute, thus I do not promote aggression. Therefore, am I then causing slumber and apathy?