Issues: Political Culture

What does "Faithful Citizenship" say about our political culture?

"Unfortunately, politics in our country often can be a contest of powerful interests, partisan attacks, sound bites, and media hype. The Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by the moral convictions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and the vulnerable." #14

"the Church's leaders are to avoid endorsing or opposing candidates or telling people how to vote." #15

"As the Holy Father also taught in Deus Caritas Est, 'the direct duty to work for a just ordering of society is proper to the lay faithful'" #16

"Catholics may choose different ways to respond to compelling social problems, but we cannot differ on our moral obligation to help build a more just and peaceful world through morally acceptable means, so that the weak and vulnerable are protected and human rights and dignity are defended." #20

"Catholic voters should use the framework of Catholic teaching to examine candidates' positions on issues affecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace, and they should consider candidates' integrity, philosophy, and performance." #41

"As Catholics we are not single-issue voters." #42

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (November 2007)

For more, see Catholic social teaching on political life.

What does the Democratic National Platform say about our political culture?

"A great nation now demands that its leaders abandon the politics of partisan division and find creative solutions to promote the common good. A people that prizes candor, accountability, and fairness insists that a government of the people must level with them and champion the interests of all American families. A land of historic resourcefulness has lost its patience with elected officials who have failed to lead....

"We believe we must change not just our policies, but our politics as well.... Today, we pledge to renew American democracy by promoting the use of new technologies to make it easier for Americans to participate in their government. We will shine a light on government spending and Washington lobbying--so that every American is empowered to be a watchdog and a whistle blower. We are the party of inclusion and respect differences of perspective and belief. And so, even when we disagree, we will work together to move this country forward. There can be no Republican or Democratic ideas, only policies that are smart and right and fair and good for America--and those that aren't. We will form a government as decent, candid, purposeful and compassionate as the American people themselves.

What does Barack Obama say about our political culture?

"Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America." Speech by Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention

For more, see barackobama.com "Ethics." and "Call to Renewal," June 28, 2006, and "Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention," July 27, 2004

Saturday, April 19, 2014

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"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

Inaugural Address, President Obama


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