As part of our responsibility as Catholics, we are called to social justice, we are called to care for our brothers and sisters. But the very fact of social justice can cause division in our faith. Not because some don’t believe in it, I would venture to say that most if not all Catholics believe in social justice. I think the problem comes in when we talk about how to enact it, how to go about social justice.
I have a friend who is big on this issue, and we debate it constantly, she believes that government has a responsibility to make sure individuals act in a way that is compatible with social justice, where as I feel that government has no right interfering with my decisions, who or what I want to support or don’t want to support.
To me it comes down to my freedom to choose, and my ability to do so cannot, and should not be dictated by the government or the church. Yes both have an obligation to educate me, to give me facts that are true (unlike today, where facts a skewed to force you to see things their way, but that’s a whole different blog). I believe that the government should encourage people to act responsible, and yes enact laws to protect individuals. But under no circumstances should I, or anyone else, ever be forced to participate in an action that goes counter to my belief system. Now you may be asking, when has the government ever forced me to participate in something that is counter to my belief system? Every day when an abortion is preformed, my tax dollars are at work, or when they use my money to support any program that I personally do not support.
Now some may say that as a conservative I want to do the same, by outlawing abortion, and forcing my faith on someone else. And to that I respond no, not at all. We have laws in place, laws that all Americans support, laws the prevent murder; all I want is for that law to be respected. But I would be extremely happy if the government stopped funding Planned Parenthood, stopped using my tax dollar to pay for murder. If people support Planned Parenthood, let them donate freely to them, and not force others to do so.
Our Tax dollars should go to programs that keep America safe, programs that educate us, not programs that take my money, and place it in the hands of government to give to whom they see fit!
As Catholics, social justice should dictate to us a personal responsibility to others; it should empower us to reach out to those in need, be it financial, medical or education (or any other social need). We are a nation of generosity, a nation that gives more than any other. We are a nation that believes the individual has the power to change the world, not a government. If this were not true, our founding fathers (and mothers) would not have created a constitution that grants us the freedom to pursue personal happiness.
So yes, I feel that all Catholics support social justice, liberal Catholics and Conservative Catholics, Democrats and Republicans, and even those who do not know what they are. I have faith in humanity to take care of herself, she always has, because if she had not, we would not be living in the good old US of A, because she would not be here.
God Bless America!