Monday, November 3, 2008

How Should a Christian Vote? Part II

Just Treatment of the Afflicted

Who are the afflicted? The afflicted can be defined as citizens generally, and more specifically, those citizens that may have difficulties in maintaining general standards of living.

What policies affect our consideration of just treatment for the afflicted? For this talk, I will consider elements that are found in the party platforms. I am aware that there are other issues that should have policies dedicated to them (i.e. drug enforcement, rural & urban poverty, etc.), however, for today’s consideration we will stick to the policies seen to be important by the two major parties. Of these, I will point out a couple germane points...REMEMBER, there will be a Q&A time, so write down questions you would like to know more about.

Income Tax

Principle #1 – Property is to be owned individually.

• Scripturally, property is to be owned individually. Otherwise, the injunction “Thou shalt not steal” makes no sense.

OBJECTION: The early church participated in communal living

REBUTTAL: Two main differences between communal living and socialism: 1) Communal living is voluntary, and one may cease to participate whenever he sees fit; in Socialism, communal giving is required, and may be given to causes that the individual does not approve of. 2) Communal living is conducted on a small scale with a group of people who generally agree, Socialism is conducted on a national scale, where people will most certainly not agree.

Principle #2 – Governments cannot justly do what individuals cannot justly do.

• When an individual steals money to enrich himself, he is punished for acting unjustly. When a government steals money from its citizens to enrich itself, it is an unjust act. [example: Congressmen inserting clauses in legislation to pay for pet projects that will ensure that they are re-elected]

OBJECTION: What about #4 of just war?

REBUTTAL: The right of self-defense is bound up within the individual.

Principle #3 – Government has no money. Only individuals have money.
(Give unto Caesear; unto God)
• When government gives money to certain causes (AIDS, welfare, social security, etc.), it should only be done with the explicit consent of the people. [Suggestion: have referendums to determine viability of various social spending projects]

Hierarchy of Justice

Just Treatment of the Innocent

When discussing these themes of justice, we must consider placing the requirements on a hierarchy. One can readily assume that justice in all things is to be desired, but will not happen in a fallen world.

"The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life is not defended with maximum determination." -- Pope John Paul II

I propose a hierarchy modeled off of the recognized natural rights of human beings, that is, right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (private property). These rights are bound up with one another, and have a progressive nature.

If one’s right to life is not respected, then the other two are moot. Some say that this doesn’t necessarily mean abortion...

“...abortion is not the only life-and-death issue in this election. While the Republicans line up with the Catholic stance on abortion and stem-cell research, the Democrats are closer to the Catholic position on the death penalty, universal health care and environmental protection.” – Mark Roche

The problem with this statement is that he is substituting a vague notion of life and death as found in universal health care and environmental protection for the reality of little humans being torn limb from limb in the womb. In addition, he failed to mention the consideration of guilt vs. innocence when mentioning the death penalty.

Proposed hierarchy:

Life – Ensure safety and security for its citizens
Liberty – Ensure just and equitable protection of freedom
Pursuit of Happiness – Ensure just interaction between citizens and protection of property rights

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not about doing what's best, what's legal, or even what's right. It's about accruing and exercising power, the more encompassing the better. American politics is pretty much the fulfillment of fascist theory. the system is in freefall and cannot be fixed IMHO. I no longer believe that America can be salvaged, and contemplate the nature of the country or countries which will supplant the USA