Friday, October 5, 2012

Treating Human Beings Like People, and an Impending Election

There are times when I feel as if America would be better off if we treated the presidency and Congress like the military, before 1973. That was the last time we had a military draft:
Bear in mind that I've got a cold, with the gloomy attitude that often goes with that annoying illness. I emphatically do not actually think we'd be better off without elections.

Here's how my 'political draft' might work:

We could put the names of eligible citizens into a sort of lottery. These folks would be those Americans who were:
  • Not felons
  • Able to read and write
  • Occasionally sober
    • For more than a day at a time
Every two years, we'd pick enough names to fill the Senate and House. Then every four years there'd be a special drawing, with the loser having to be president.

Bad news: we'd lose the sort of representative government we're told we have now.

Good news, in a way: we'd have legislators and a chief executive who didn't necessarily want the job.

That's not going to happen.

Elections, American Style

In less than a month, Americans will vote, indicating our preferences for who hold a variety of offices. We'll also vote on a number of measures.

Then, judging from the last few election cycles, there will be a series of lawsuits: after which a few judges will decide who won.

It's a pretty good system. Particularly compared to the old-fashioned method of storming the castle when the baron went nuts. That could get even messier than American politics.

Considering how important the issues of this presidential election are, and the chance that what I do might make a difference: I intend to vote.

An Imperfect Candidate

"Paul Ryan video for Catholic voters stresses religious freedom"
CNA/EWTN News (October 4, 2012)

"Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan has made a special video message for Catholic voters pledging that religious liberty protections will be a 'cornerstone' of a Romney-Ryan administration.

" 'We need a president who will support our God-given rights, not try to circumvent them,' he said in an Oct. 2 video posted to the Romney campaign website....
I've looked at the issues and candidates, and voted, in every election since 1969. In those decades, I have not seen a perfect candidate. Each time, I've settled for one who seemed more likely to do some good; and less likely to do harm.

Paul Ryan is a Catholic. He's also a human being, and not perfect. That seems to anger some folks: Catholic and otherwise. (August 17, 2012)

I don't mind the idea of someone who is Catholic, takes his faith seriously, and is able to get elected, running for office. Moving on.

The Right to Take God Seriously

Before getting back to that article, some important points:
  • I'm a practicing Catholic
  • I don't want to 'force' anyone to believe what I do
    • It's against the rules
      (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2104-2109)
  • I'd like to be allowed to act as if God matters
I've been over that before. (June 23, 2012)
"...The video comes after nine months of controversy over the Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring most large employers, including many Catholic institutions, to provide employees free insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs.

"The mandate's narrow religious exemption applies to employers who primarily employ or serve their co-religionists and would not cover Catholic charities, universities, and health systems that employ and serve the general public.

"Non-exempt organizations must either comply, drop insurance coverage and face other fines, or face non-compliance fines of $100 per employee per day....

"...The video can be viewed at:"

Legal, Yes: Right, No

I'd prefer that murder be illegal in America: even when the victim is someone who's unable to flee or resist.

Until the American government decides that all human beings are people, I'd also prefer that the federal government not force employers to pay the bill when their employees want to hire an assassin.

That's not a nice way to put the idea of 'providing women's health care services,' but it's not a nice idea in the first place.

Finally, the right of America's youngest citizens to be treated as if they're people isn't the only issue being decided this November: but I think it's an important one.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.