Part 6: Discrimination, Stewardship, Media, and Global Solidarity

The following is part four of a seven-part series summarizing Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States, a document originally issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2015. Part five addressed the preferential option for the poor, health care, migration, Catholic education, and promoting justice. This following article goes on to address more specific policy issues. 

Combatting Unjust Discrimination

We ought to combat unjust discrimination based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, disability, or age. “Where the effects of past discrimination persist, society has the obligation to take positive steps to overcome the legacy of injustice, including vigorous action to remove barriers to education, protect voting rights, support good policing in our communities, and ensure equal employment for women and minorities” (85). 

Care for Our Common Home

We have a responsibility toward future generations to be good stewards of the environment. In this way, we assure solidarity between generations. “The United States should lead in contributing to the sustainable development of poorer nations and promoting greater justice in sharing the burden of environmental blight, neglect, and recovery. It is important that we address the rising number of migrants who are uprooted from their homeland as a consequence of environmental degradation and climate change” (86).

At the same time, the Church rejects demeaning and “sometimes coercive” programs aimed at population control. Instead of blaming over population for a lack of resources, we ought to blame consumerism in our culture, “where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized” (Laudato Si, Praise be to you, my Lord).

Communications, Media, and Culture

Media shapes the culture. Regulation needs to respect freedom of speech, but protect children and families from offensive material. Pornographic and violent material have become easier than ever to access, so we need to vigorously support obscenity and child pornography laws, and make it easy for parents, libraries, and schools to block unwanted content. 

Global Solidarity

Saint John Paul II said, “Solidarity is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, The Social Concern). This includes the common good of the world, not just our own nation. We ought to work toward alleviating global poverty, promoting religious liberty and basic human rights, and supporting international bodies like the United Nations to address other global problems. We ought to give asylum to refugees fleeing persecution and be a leader in addressing regional conflicts. We also ought to be leaders in pursuing a peaceful resolution between Israel and Palestine. 

In the final article in this series, we review the USCCB's 10 policy goals. 

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