Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Making Our Voices Heard

Making Our Voices Heard

          Last week I posted an article, Why Obama’s ‘Accommodation’ is a Joke.  I received a lot of personal feedback, almost all of it positive.  But there was one conversation I had that I’d like to discuss here.  Unfortunately, in the conversation, the real issue got a little muddied, but it brought me to another that would be relevant to explore.
          Though my article referred only to the President’s contraception/sterilization/abortifacient mandate, it is true that I oppose the Obamacare ‘reform’ altogether.  Most Americans still do, and when it was passed the vast majority of people didn’t want it.
          In debating this, the opposition can have a tendency to twist the issue and set up a straw man.  We are sometimes accused, if we oppose Obamacare, of not caring about the poor, the sick or the uninsured.  Clearly it is a false choice to say we must either accept the President’s plan or nothing. 
          As Catholics we are deeply concerned about the poor and suffering.  That is one of the fundamental principles of social justice.  However, we can also use our intellects to evaluate the Obamacare legislation.  If we believe that the President’s bill will destroy health care in this country, infringe on personal and religious freedoms, and pave the way for a complete government takeover of the health care system, we must strongly oppose it.  That in no way suggests that we are unconcerned about the uninsured or uninsurable.
          The point of this post is not to evaluate Obamacare.  There has been plenty written on that topic and many readers are undoubtedly more knowledgeable about it than I.  My point, however, is to encourage action as the Catholic electorate.
          If we do oppose the President’s health care reform and are also concerned about the uninsured, we should stand up and say so.  And specifically, we should share our viewpoints and values with our elected representatives.  I would go so far as to suggest we should offer specific solutions to our representatives personally.
          Those serving in Congress are not necessarily the best and brightest of our nation.  We can often be intimidated by people in positions of power, but their ideas and solutions are not necessarily any better than ours.
          I enjoy delving into political issues and not just deciding what I think about a particular piece of legislation, but contemplating workable solutions that support my political and moral values.  It’s true that I don’t have all the information that my Congressman does, and don’t know the details, for example, of what things would cost, but there’s no reason to think that my ideas are without value.
          We have the ability to speak not only with our votes but with our ideas.  There are many people out there far wiser than myself, and good ideas can come from any one of us.  We may be surprised how our ideas are received.  If our representative or senator is open enough, it may be a powerful way to have our values put into place.
          So if you have an idea about how we can truly reform health care in a positive way, or effect improvements to the many other issues facing our nation, say so.  Not just to your friends or even in political chat rooms or blogs, but share them with your representatives, at the state and federal level.  Maybe even discern a run for public office yourself.  There is little our country needs more than Catholic leaders who are willing to put into practice the words of the Our Father: Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.