May 30, 2012 by eneubauer
Recently I concluded a two-part presentation on Catholic Social Teaching. I covered the seven themes which provide us with a platform for the development of a just society. Catholic Social Teaching, with its 121 year history, is the Church’s coordinated response to many of the serious social issues that plague societies.
Upon reflection of my own presentation I found one idea particularly poignant based in the theme to Care for God’s Creation. I stated that, because of politics & polarization, we seem unable to discuss the importance of environmental stewardship. We seem unable to admit the fact that human beings have negatively impacted the environment. As an example I stated that, “We are so busy arguing over whether Global Warming or Climate Change actually exists that we cannot have a conversation about the negative human impact on the environment nor accept the Biblical mandate to steward well that which God has entrusted to our care.”
It was in the midst of this presentation, discussion with those who attended and my own personal reflections that I came to this conclusion. We are so busy fighting on the margins of so many important issues that we cannot settle on the fact that we have serious problems, that Christians are called to respectfully engage in the debate, and find solutions. See, the solutions are not found in the arguments people are having on the margins of any one topic. The solutions are found when Christians (and others of Good Will) admit to the general principle of a problem and begin the process of finding solutions. I believe that engagement in arguments on the margins of an issue is just a distraction which ensures that nothing will get done and that human behavior will continue unchecked, outside the moral directives of our common faith.
We must be willing to participate in serious self-evaluation to see where we have allowed political polarization to impede us from fulfilling our mandate to Care For God’s Creation and in so doing ensure that future generations will enjoy those resources that many of us have taken for granted.
May God enable us to walk the middle road and honestly evaluate how our actions or inaction may be negatively affecting our neighbors – especially those who are less fortunate.