Faith & Democracy


It gives me the shivers to think that I might be in league with members of the Tea Party. But increasingly, under my breath, I find myself growling: “Throw the bums out.”

I remember the day, many years ago, when I stumbled across a passage in Leviticus. I was rooting around in chapter 19, looking for the verse that said, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” the Part B section of The Great Commandment that Christians embrace as taught by Jesus (Mk 10:29-31; Mt 22:37-39; Lk 10:27).

I count myself doubly privileged today—privileged, first, to speak about Bob Wilcox, and privileged, second, to stand in for Donald Benedict, the person who would have done this better had he not returned, before Bob, to the boundless love of God. Don Benedict and Bob Wilcox had a special bond, forged in part when Don was Executive Director and Bob board member and board president at the Community Renewal Society.

Springfield is a place of considerable discussion, debate, and, yes, disagreement. Finding common ground is often difficult, and coming to an agreement is almost always a matter of considerable compromise. Yet, this past week there was clear agreement on one point: fifteen thousand people came to Springfield on April 21st.

How do we--individually and as PCG--persuade a fractured society that only where "Mercy, Love and Pity dwell There God is dwelling too?"

It’s about equality in representation: Prison districts should take their finger off the scale and return parity to our districts and fairness to our Government.

Taxes are a sacrament.

I have problems of my own. You have problems of your own. In the final analysis, the only things you and I have in common are (1) we each have problems and (2) we each have to find their solutions on our own.

Some of my friends may now think I am the enemy. I have heard from them, and I am now to understand that the causes to which I am committed are viewed as Marxist. What causes are those, you ask? Apparently it’s any cause that smacks of “social justice.” If I am an enemy, I sure hope my friends will love me like Jesus instructed in Matthew 5:43-48!

Three bills -- important to PCG’s Common Good Agenda -- “made it out of committee” last week in Springfield and have been “reported favorably” to the Illinois House. Now the bills can be considered by all members of the House of Representatives. Each of these bills is likely to stimulate significant debate when called for a vote. Stay tuned!


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