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Tackling political issues

This might be considered a political issue itself, as contentious as any other. But I believe we can gather enough consensus to come out with some common rules to guide us on how to tackle political issues properly.

Being political persons also, we cannot help but deal with issues that affect our lives as a political society. And these issues, with their pros and cons, can vary and multiply as our body politic grows in size and complexity.

We have to be ready to face this challenge of resolving these issues as best that we can, that is, in a way that is worthy of our dignity as persons, children of God, and as a people capable of governing ourselves properly.

Thus, it’s imperative that we know what is to be a person, a child of God and a self-governing people. This obviously will require that we are grounded on some clear creed. And the Christian faith, more than any other man-made ideology, can provide that.

It’s our Christian faith that constitutes the ultimate basis of what is good and bad for us as individual persons and as political beings as well. It provides us with the standards to know the distinction between things with absolute value in our life and those with only relative value.

And especially in the parable of the wheat and the weeds (cfr. Mt 13,24-30), we are provided with the general idea of how to handle our human condition where good and evil get mixed up in the world, a condition so typical in our political life.

Our Christian faith provides us with what is truly the common good, both the temporal kind and the eternal one, for all of us to pursue in our political life. It should be the common good that we should aim at all the time through the twists and turns of our political life.

Our laws, ideologies and other systems should be inspired by our Christian faith as much as possible. They can never be perfect in the sense that they can provide us with a completely trouble-free condition in life. They will always need continuing updating, refining, polishing, contextualizing, etc., which should be done in a peaceful and approved manner.

The underlying principle in tackling political issues should always be love, concern and compassion for one another, since this is what assures us of bringing us to our common good despite our political differences and conflicts.

Yes, we will unavoidably have differences and conflicts in our political views and positions, but we should treat this condition as an opportunity precisely to grow in love. These differences and conflicts should not divide us, but rather lead us to a more meaningful and enriching sense of unity among ourselves.

Our Christian faith tells us that these differences and conflicts, and even all forms of evil, are at least allowed by God to happen if only to derive a greater good for us. But let’s hope that we can tackle them properly—that is calmly and cordially, with a very sensitive concern for the others.

Thus, in arguing about political issues, we have to distinguish between what have absolute value and what only have relative value, between those that are clearly morally wrong and those that are open to several different and even conflicting but legitimate opinions.

We should be courteous to everyone no matter how sharp our disagreements are in our views, listening to all parties involved. Let’s avoid being pugnacious, focusing on things that can divide us rather than on those that can offer us ground for cooperation.

Let’s try to offer solutions and ways to contain whatever potential dangers we may see in a particular position on a political issue, rather than engaging in purely negative actions. Let’s be constructive always.

Let’s avoid pontificating and imposing our views on others. Even when clearly immoral things are involved in a political issue, let us resolve things calmly and charitably, and according to our approved rules.*

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August 2021

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