Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Potluck Wednesday, Volume Sixteen

I don't know if I've already mentioned this, but we have a new choir director at our church. As choir practice returns to its regular schedule, I've decided to return to the Potluck Wednesday posts. There's so much good reading out there!

AmericanPapist was at yesterday's March for Life, and has lots of great things to share!

Paul at Thoughts of a Regular Guy shares Ron Paul's intriguing proposal to end abortion in America. I like this idea!

A society that is pro-abortion is a society that is anti-child, as this blog post from Suzanne Temple demonstrates.

Regular reader Kerri sent me this link to a truly horrific article, in which women rate their RU-486 abortions as being more "pleasant" than surgical ones. Lord, have mercy! We should pray for these women, and never forget our enemy in the abortion debate is literally diabolical.

At GetReligion, Mark Stricherz asks the question: are young people really more pro-life, or is it just Catholic young people? I respond: Hey, either way we're good! :)

And since we're talking about Catholic young people, I'd like to close by sharing this essay written by my high school-aged godson, on the topic of civil duties. I haven't edited it at all; it's just as it was written:

Civil Duties: More Than Taxes

There are five civil duties that apply to every citizen: "Every citizen is bound to love his country, to show honor, obedience, and loyalty to the constituted authorities, do his share towards the public expense by paying just taxes, and, if necessary, to defend the rights of his country with life and limb." The fifth duty is the duty to vote.

Voting actually becomes more important when there is immorality in the government. Catholic voters base their vote on the moral standing of the party; whether or not the candidates are pro-life, whether or not they themselves are trustworthy, etc. Voting actually can be a moral obligation if it is done to prevent a "bad" politician from triumphing over a "good" one.

Christians are allowed to participate in just wars, in order to defend their country from enemies. However, the military sometimes has its purpose corrupted and pursues courses of action that are more akin to war crimes than proportionate response. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This can be used as a rule for many things, including how to fight wars. When ordered to do something morally reprehensible, even in wartime, it would be an obligation to refuse to do such a thing.

Every good citizen pays his taxes, although no one really likes to. The higher the taxes are, the more unhappy the citizens, and politicians say they try not to raise taxes without a good reason. However, when people have no real voice, such as in an aristocratic government gone bad, officials become bold, and start demanding more than their due in taxes. It is only right to refuse unjust taxation, but it's not always possible to do so. When the American colonists declared independence from the British government, unjust taxation was one of the problems they listed as a cause of their secession.

We should have honor and respect towards anyone, but we should honor those in charge of us more, as God has given them the right to require our obedience. However, politicians don't always deserve our respect, particularly if they adamantly uphold immorality. We have a responsibility to uphold what is right, and to select as our guardians those who do the same. Thus it is lawful to rebel against a corrupt king to set up a new order, rectifying the mistakes of the prior regime.

"Every citizen is bound to love his country...." This is true, and even those who do not agree with certain issues can still love their country. Love of country should not be confused with pride of country. The father of a wayward son may not be particularly proud of him, but still loves him. Love occasionally requires us to correct the loved one, as long as we are doing what is best for him. the same goes for love of country. If we love our country, we must correct it when it is wrong.

When a government becomes depraved, a citizen's duties to a country change. some duties are reduced because certain rules have been violated by the government, while other duties become more urgent. A government is a social contract, not a covenant. It is an agreement between two equal parties, meaning that each has duties and responsibilities to the other. Just as the state must occasionally correct its citizens, the citizens must occasionally correct the state.