Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 3, 2008
Voting is an act of faith in action
The good priest lowers his head and begins the intercession. Often as not, one of the first pleas is the entreaty to God that the people in political power act with integrity and goodness.
And we all back it up with, "Lord, hear our prayer."
But do we follow through? Do we vote in our municipal, provincial and federal elections?
Here come the excuses. What's the point? The same party always gets in. They're all the same once they are elected. I don't know who my candidates are. I haven't been following the issues.
And on it goes.
We can't get away with that anymore because there is too much at stake, especially with this provincial election.
God gave us a pristine planet with grains and fruits to sustain us.
"And God saw that it was good." He made us stewards of this precious environment. What political party backs the care and protection of the earth, air and water and exactly how are they going to do it? What are the timelines? What are the actions? Who will pick up the tab?
Like the Good Samaritan, we are to take care of the poor, the homeless. "He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honour Him (Proverbs 14:31)."
Sure you can swing a hammer on a Habitat home or chop carrots for the stew at the Marion Centre. But we need to create the climate of living with dignity to honestly target programs to provide affordable housing and a viable minimum wage – and not 10 years from now. Rents are doubling – now. People are working two to three minimum wage jobs just to survive – now.
What is each party going to do about it – specifically?
And what about our overburdened health care system? Are we approaching a point where medical procedures will be allocated according to age? Will waiting lists force us to take medical vacations to have a knee replacement done in Thailand?
As Catholics, we embrace Pope Benedict's call to create a culture of life, not death. When he spoke to international diplomats last year in Vienna, the pope expressed his concern over the cultural push for "actively assisted death" otherwise known as euthanasia. He told those with political power he was worried the profoundly ill and elderly will be pushed to request or accept a drug cocktail of death.
As Benedict said those with terminal illness deserve loving, palliative care, noting hospices have "done wonders."
His words echo as we read of the Winnipeg family fighting with doctors determined to remove the ventilator and feeding tube of their ailing father. The decision now lies in the hands of a judge who just received reports from two U.S. doctors who say the man is actually improving and local doctors had not done the right tests.
Culture of life includes abortion, a federal matter. But Albertans could do what 47 U.S. states did and create safe haven laws for babies. While criteria vary, basically distraught parents can surrender their unharmed newborn babies anonymously without interrogation or legal recourse. Police stations, fire halls, hospitals are the usual designation.
No shame, no blame, no name is the premise of the Los Angeles program. Babies are saved. And miracles happen.
One paediatric nurse, a respiratory specialist, was making her way to her car after a too–long shift. A beater of a car screeched to a stop in front of her.
"Here, take this," yelled the teenager as she thrust a bundle into the nurse's arms. As the nurse looked into the face a newborn boy struggling to breathe, the car sped away. The baby lived and is loved by his adoptive parents.
Safe haven in our province could mean no more babies thrown into back yards, left in public toilets, found mummified in a backpack.
Yes, your vote matters. Harken back to a federal election some years ago when Anne McLellan won her seat by 12 – yes 12 – votes.
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