The Role of Ethical Standards...

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by Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican


When I listen to the debates that surround the Annual Budget decisions at various levels, I wonder if there are any common ethical standards in creating them.  If so, how do we name them?


At a recent Social Ministry gathering in D.C., representing some church leaders, they discussed the blizzard of debates on how to solve the budget deficit nationally and statewide. Over the years, faith communities and social service leaders have named some and ethical standards. One policy is clear – The budget deficit must not be solved on the backs of the poor and most vulnerable members of our society.  They are the ones who suffer the most from legislative posturing and bickering that has reached a pitch beyond all we have experienced in recent times.


Some cuts proposed at state and national levels at this time only increase and deepen the problems. Also the attempt to take away the power of the workers to have a legitimate voice in ensuring safe working conditions, just wages and benefits denies basic principles that honor the dignity of work and the workers and promote economic fairness. Fr. Bryan Massingale, SJ, reminds us that Ministers from various denominations and great civic leaders such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez and Rabbi Joshua Heschel supported Bargaining Rights to protect the human dignity of the workers and maintain fairness in the workplace.


Some decisions made regarding the budgets in areas such as education, health care, job creation and other human needs affect all people. For example if we reduce the number of teachers and have less schools, this will only add to the deficit in the future. The growing number of families with children living in poverty will need better schools, smaller class sizes and more resources to prepare them for jobs in the future. President Obama suggests strong support for education.  Without adequate educational resources, we will be building more prisons and have more living in poverty. Likewise, cutting back on programs for the aging population will only leave more people in dire poverty We realize that something has to be done in face of such a large deficit. In all programs we need to practice fiscal responsibility. What we do and how we do it will make all the difference.


We need to take a good look at the growing social needs and see where and how they fit into the total picture. We need to work together to find the best and most effective way to solve the problem and meet human needs. One major decision could be to find alternative ways to solve international conflicts and not consider war as the first solution. It only adds to the conflict and takes a great toll on the human race. The money used on wars and preparation for wars could make a great difference in providing

for the basic human needs named above. Can we ask the millionaires and billionaires and major corporations  to contribute to the debt reduction rather than finding ways to provide tax breaks for the rich?


All of these are shared responsibilities that  will call for more cooperation and adjustment of some of our values. If we are fair and fiscally responsible we can accomplish our goals to honor and respect the human dignity of all people. This transcends wrangling and political debate in order to build strong, healthy and productive communities for all.


Let us continue the journey with courage and hope.


Justice Preaching Archive

Just click on a title below to read the article.
- The latest titles are listed first. -

• Justice Bulletin Board •
• A New Year •
• Two Essays on Peace •
• A Call To Respect and Welcome Diversity - A Challenge of Our Faith •
• Addressing White Power and Priviledge •
• An Ethical Reflection on Work... •
• A Re-energized Catholic Church •
• A Renewed Call for Nuclear Disarmament •
• Called to Proclaim and Live With Moral Courage •
• Called To Protect the Poor In Our Economic System •
• Call To Persevere In Praying and Working for Peace •
• Care For the Environment •
• Care for the Earth •
• Caritas in Veritate •
• The Challenge of Discipleship •
• Comprehensive Immigration Reform •
• The Death Penalty Revisited •
• What Is Ecological Economics •
• Eliminating Global Poverty •
• Global Warming... Calling for an Urgent and Ethical Response •
• God's Fool •
• Green Congretations - A Growing Movement •
• More Gun Control •
• Healing the Racial Divide •
• Speaking the Truth in Today's World Takes Courage •
• Justice and Compassion •
• Labor Issues and the Catholic Church •
• Is More Consumer Spending the Answer? •
• Moving from A Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace •
• Preaching Justice & Moving from Violence to Peace •
• Reaching For the Stars - Brenda Walsh •
• A Call To Reduce Prison Population •
• The Relationship Between Labor And the Catholic Church •
• Sermon On Domestic Violence •
• Sustainability •
• The Death Penalty •
• The New Economy Movement •
• The Role of Ethical Standards... •
• War Is Not the Answer •
• Witnesses To Hope •

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