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How can Catholics support Bush?

Jessie Markovetz | Monday, January 19, 2004

After socializing this weekend, I found that most of the people that I talked to on this campus were behind George W. Bush in the upcoming election. I found this interesting, since this campus is founded on Catholic beliefs and many of the people here are Catholic. As a Catholic, I strongly believe that the Bush administration contradicts the underlying principles of Catholicism. Yes, I agree that abortion is an unfortunate platform of the Democrats, but it seems that the Bush administration has done plenty of killing in these past three years. It also seems like many people like to use this issue of abortion as a rationalization to hoard money, but that’s my opinion. What really seems to be the main issue for backing Bush around here is taxes. The rationale: “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Work hard, make money for yourself and family, and let the rest fend for themselves.” I think that this mentality lacks compassion and unity. Catholicism is based on a unity of people. We are all one body. We are not separate; therefore, we need to offer up ourselves (our tax money) to those who have been less fortunate in life. Instead of becoming smug in our assumption that our money should remain ours, I believe that we, as Catholics, are called to share the wealth, no matter what the circumstances. There are many other issues that I would like to touch on as well. These issues, I believe, draw a fine line between Catholicism and the Bush administration, and they are as follows:The environment: As God created the world; it is our job to care for His creation. I have seen little care for this in the past three years.The war: The Pope was against the war from the beginning. How can Catholics be in favor of an administration that backs the war, when the head of their Church believes it to be exceedingly immoral?Foreign relations: It is clear that Bush idealism strives to foster the growth and economic prosperity of the United States of America, and solely the United States of America. To my understanding, this administration hardly cares about the growth and economic prosperity of the world as a whole. Again, I come back to this principle of unity. Aren’t we obliged, as Catholics, to unite with people outside of our own country? With our power and money, shouldn’t we care more about what’s going on in places like Africa? Here’s a better question: “Does anyone even know what’s going on in Africa?”It seems to me that fear has driven a lot of the Bush political mentalities. Bringing in a Democrat who may shake things up a bit and allow too much money for something so incredibly needed as health care is too liberal of a policy for many people. As for fear about national security, I believe that the United States is in the worst international position than it has ever been. The majority of the world is disgusted when it comes to America’s indulgence of power. And, as history will tell us, when animosity is raised, revenge becomes part of the agenda. In addition, I think that severing ties with the United Nations was another bad move on behalf of the Bush administration. I believe this was unwise because, again, I believe that we are called to foster unity – of all people, of all nations – no matter how far-fetched or seemingly impractical. In conclusion, I want to say that I’m not claiming that Republicans are evil or that George W. Bush is evil. Republicans, Democrats, Bush and the people in Africa are all people under God. We are all one and we should be striving to serve one another, no matter what country or economic status we come from. One way we can do this is by electing a man or woman who will help us do this in the best way possible. My vote is for Dick Gephardt. Here is a man who knows diplomacy, humility, democracy, compassion and unity. Of those running, I believe that he is the man who will best carry out Catholicism’s idealism. Jacqueline CuisinierHoly Cross HallJan.18