Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
October 12, 2008
Rights and Responsibilities of Voters
(Excerpts from USCCB)
As election time approaches we are hearing more and more negative campaigning. This either offends us or irritates us but it probably does not do much for helping us decide who best to vote for. Despite the millions of dollars that are spent on TV commercials we never the less remain in a quandary. The questions remain. Who is the best candidate? Who is best able to lead this great nation in time of turmoil, war and economic crisis?
As Catholic Christians we have a duty to be civic minded. However, we cannot allow ourselves to become tangled in the political quagmire that engulfs all too many people in the negative slurs, insults hurling and deceitful advertising. Rather we must take a more positive, honest and Gospel minded perspective. This is no small challenge. Everyone around us is caught up in the negative. We must work all the harder to find a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
This week we will look at two themes that have been given to us as we search our hearts and minds in choosing the right path. The first of these themes is the Rights & Responsibilities we all should expect to understand and practice. We have heard them before but they are worth repeating, especially as we prepare to vote.
Every human being has the following rights. We all have the right to life. This is the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible. In addition to life, we have the right to religious freedom, which enables us to live and act in accord with God-given dignity. Every human being also has the right to those things that are required for human decency. This includes food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing. (USCCB)
The above rights challenge Christians to work toward the actualization of these right. In other words, we have the responsibility to see to it that these rights are not violated but rather are brought to fruition. As Christians we are challenged to fight for the rights of all members of society. This challenge must affect our civic duty. They are one in the same.
The second theme that follows very closely to the above mentioned is the Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. While the common good embraces all, those who are in greatest need deserve preferential concern. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among us, i.e. the unborn, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized.(USCCB)
This latter theme is not an option for the Catholic Christian. We have a responsibility toward the most vulnerable. These are the people that are referred to as “the least of my people”. They are ones that we are often tempted to ignore, look down upon or simply neglect because we have become too jaded to care.
Which of the candidates, both on a local and national level can we count on to follow through on these issues? If we don’t know we must find out. There is a tremendous amount being written on each candidate right now. Let’s take the time to read some of it.
Lorette P. Nault