By Fredi D’Alessio
This article first appeared on TCRNews.com and also in Catholic San Francisco in 2003. It is as relevant today as then.
If you scored Republican … You’ve now proved you’re a true-blooded American who not only understands that there is a right and a wrong, but has the brains to know the difference between the two.” So says Adam Sparks in his article ‘Arnold’s Quiz To Determine Political Affiliation VIEW FROM THE RIGHT’ (SFGate.com 10/27/03).
The quiz instructs you to score one point as a Democrat or a Republican each time you align yourself with one party or the other on the following issues: Taxes, Regulation, Environmentalism, Media Bias, Trade Policy, Fighting Tyranny, Affirmative Action, Education, Sexual Abuse, Purpose of Government, The Problem with the World Is Us (U.S.), Immigration, Crime and Punishment, Corporations and Unions, Families.
The problem is that neither party demonstrates that it “not only understands that there is a right and a wrong, but has the brains to know the difference between the two”. Or is it that they do understand that there is a right and a wrong, but their selfish, superficial and shortsighted ideologies inhibit their ability to know the difference between the two?
Either way, something vital is lacking in the political arena. And not just at a Party level, but also at a personal level. It is my opinion that there is an absence of knowledge of God’s perspective or even an awareness or concern that He has one. Despite all the rhetoric we hear about “In God we trust”, nothing is more apparent than the fact that we do not trust in God. If we did, we wouldn’t continually disregard His Statutes and try to usurp His Throne. It should be of no surprise that the aforementioned void has been filled with injustice and immorality.
We should not be viewing the world from the Left, Center or Right. It is imperative that we view it from the Top – from the perspective of its Creator. We can only do that with eyes of love. Firstly, love of our Creator and secondly, love of all his creatures. We must also acknowledge that we do not own what He has created. In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. Although, mankind is called to respect both the universal destination of goods and the right to private property, the right to private property does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. Further, we must acknowledge that God loves everyone equally. If we are to love them as well, we must not only share their joys, but also their sorrows.
As the antidote to selfish, superficial and shortsighted ideologies, I present the following reflection by Pope John Paul II on praying the Rosary:
The Rosary is also a prayer for peace because of the fruits of charity which it produces. When prayed well in a truly meditative way, the Rosary leads to an encounter with Christ in his mysteries and so cannot fail to draw attention to the face of Christ in others, especially in the most afflicted.
How could one possibly contemplate the mystery of the Child of Bethlehem, in the joyful mysteries, without experiencing the desire to welcome, defend and promote life, and to shoulder the burdens of suffering children all over the world?
How could one possibly follow in the footsteps of Christ the Revealer, in the mysteries of light, without resolving to bear witness to His Beatitudes in daily life?
And how could one contemplate Christ carrying the Cross and Christ Crucified, without feeling the need to act as a Simon of Cyrene for our brothers and sisters weighed down by grief or crushed by despair?
Finally, how could one possibly gaze upon the glory of the Risen Christ or of Mary Queen of Heaven, without yearning to make this world more beautiful, more just, more closely conformed to God’s plan?”
The Holy Father has succinctly presented us with the domestic and foreign policy we are called by God to embrace. Whatever one’s religion, if we believe that God is the giver of life, we must ascend the Holy Mountain, view the world from the top, shout from it “In God we trust”, and descend from it filled with Wisdom and Love.
I personally am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am an American. One who believes that we are not called to possess great things, but to be a great people. That should be our intention when we say “God bless America”.