Saturday, August 7, 2010

Faithful Citizenship, August 8, 2010

The election season is heating up. We will be making choices both on a local as well as a national level. Will we be voting as Catholic Christians? Pope Benedict XVI said in one of his encyclicals, “charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as ‘social charity.’ OK, so he doesn’t talk like we do, but you get the point!
We are challenged to be guided as voters more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group. Catholics have always been asked to place the highest level of importance on human life whether that concerns the unborn, care of the less fortunate, or issues regarding euthanasia or the aging. As concerned citizens we are also aware that every person needs food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work. Just as we vote against issues that negatively affect human life, we must look for candidates who support the just treatment of those less fortunate than ourselves.
As we begin to break apart the political rhetoric, we can use the seven key themes provided by the Council of Bishops: 1) The right to life and dignity of the human person. Human life is sacred. 2) Call to family, community, and participation. The family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, is the fundamental unit of society. 3) Rights and responsibilities. Every human being has a right to life and a corresponding responsibility to the larger society. 4) Option for the poor and vulnerable. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among us. 5) Dignity of work and the rights of workers. 6) Solidarity. We are one family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. 7) Caring for God’s creation. We are called to be careful stewards of God’s creation. Register to vote, and then begin your homework!
Gotta go boot up my hard drive! Aloha----- Mary B

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