A Christian State of the Nation Address
My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ: As followers of the God whose very essence is love, a love so deep and abundant that this love took on human flesh and dwelt among us to teach us the way of love – a love more beautiful, more inspiring and more wonderful than the world has ever seen.
Through the example of his life, death and resurrection, Jesus taught us how to love totally, selflessly, continuously, abundantly. His life raised the level of love to its highest point, and taught us that our lives must also reach that same superlative level of love. He thus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” That’s the gold standard Jesus is calling each one of us to strive for!
As faithful disciples, this new love commandment must be brought to bare upon everyone and everything – including legislation and public policy.
So, let us resolve to tirelessly pray and work to protect the life, and promote the dignity, of every single human being – from the moment of conception to natural death.
Jesus’ new commandment to love one another to the same degree that he loved, certainly includes the older commandment: “Thou shall not kill.”
Therefore, we must continuously endeavour to convince ourselves, the government, the corporate world and the culture to put away all forms of the sword and never use it to kill in war, abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, or physician assisted suicide. And to stop using the weapons of selfishness, greed and indifference to kill hungry, thirsty, poor, homeless, drug addicted, medically uninsured, migrating, asylum-seeking, trafficked fellow human beings who deserve to live – and to live with dignity and equality.
And we must stop killing the earth – our common home as Pope Francis calls it – with tons and tons of garbage, pollution, pesticides and the burning of global warming oil, coal and gas.
Let us labor to establish fair and just corporate policies, laws and budgets to ensure that the basic needs of all human beings are met. And let us build bridges of welcome, not walls of exclusion.
Instead of holding onto a mindset which focuses on aiming to competitively position one’s nation above the needs of other nations, our country and world urgently needs a creative new paradigm – a fresh life-giving, life protecting, life enhancing cooperative model to guide us out the selfish, violent, sinful darkness of religious intolerance, nationalism, materialism, consumerism, racism, secularism and militarism.
But thanks be to God we don’t need to keep stumbling around in the darkness trying to find our way out of all this muck. Instead, the new paradigm we desperately need to fully embrace is the ever-fresh ancient Gospel of Jesus. For in the Gospel we encounter the living Christ and his ever relevant teachings of compassionate, just, generous, peaceful, nonviolent, merciful, unconditional love for all.
God bless America and all of the people on planet Earth!
Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings about Catholic social teaching. His keynote address, “Advancing the Kingdom of God in the 21st Century,” has been well received by diocesan and parish gatherings from Santa Clara, Calif. to Baltimore, Md. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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