Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Voting for the Common Good

Father Jim Hug visited Loyola College to talk about voting for the common good. When a person votes, it is not only for himself or the United States, but for the entire world. Faith unites the world, connecting what God created. A person’s vote enhances the ideals this world was founded on. Each vote in the 2008 election helps create a more perfect country, focused on the common good.
Father Hug spoke about five messages allowing a person to be informed about the 2008 presidential election. The first message is to improve political discourse. The competition between the two candidates has increased, focusing on the flaws of the competition instead of promoting the actions needed to improve the country. To improve politics, a person must obtain integrity, discipline, and freedom. Wealth, health, and honor do not help solve world issues. Today, the president must govern a globalizing world, stabilize the economy, decrease domestic and global social divisions, and fix global warming. Father Kolvenbach spoke about the promotion of justice in his article, The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice, because it helps transform the world and will help fix these issues; justice is the aim of all politics. Justice does not include lies or misinformation, but truth and honesty. Through justice, the future president will focus on the solving these issues for the common good.
The second message Father Hug mentioned is to think critically and systemically. A Jesuit education teaches people to think critically, analyzing today’s issues. A person must be up to date on today’s issues in order to make an informed decision on who to vote for, which is the third message. There are three key issues, war, the environment, and the economy. Each issue involves the entire world, uniting everyone. To become well informed, Jesuits encourage people to become involved. A person learns more by acting, instead of listening.
The fourth message is to be faith based and value based in this country. The Christian faith believes in ending abortion, the death penalty, and racism. Republicans and Democrats have different views on these issues, as well as others. Republicans view God as a moral authority, teacher, and judge, while democrats think of God as love and a forgiveness teacher. Christians view God as their savior and protector, He forgives their sins. Sins are caused by irresponsibility and disobedience, according to Republicans, while Democrats believe sin is a result of being unloved. Democrats feel love should be unconditional, and Republicans believe in tough love. The Pope believes love is a journey toward liberation through self-giving. Different faiths and values come together to govern the world, and the differences do not matter because they focus on one thing, the common good.
The final message is to be passionate. It is important to vote for the common good, only if a person truly believes in what he is voting for. Every voter must want to create a better world, for every individual. In order to build onto the world’s ideals, everyone must work together, creating a world embedded in justice. To ensure that the common good is the main focus of all decisions, the world must speak and act. Action is a necessary component to promote the common good. Saint Ignatius believed love should be shown by doing good deeds. More time is invested through deeds rather than words, showing a stronger commitment. In this election Loyola College students should act and vote as Christians, students, and republicans, ensuring they are voting for the common good.

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