This is your wisdom and building up in the sight of the peoples, who will hear of all these customs and say, “This great nation is truly a wise people and a people who build understanding in your hearts. What great nation is there that has judges so close to it as the Personal Name, our Almighty Judge, is to us whenever we call upon him?
“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” Categorical Imperative of Emmanuel Kant
When we pick our leaders for the coming two and four years, we pick leaders who will lead our nation in such a way that other nations will want to emulate our values.”
At one time, America acted as if others would want to emulate us and make our example universal law. We had our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (Muslim and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, immigrant and native born, Anglo-Saxon and minority) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…”
We had our Preamble to the Constitution, “We the People (Not corporations) of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
We sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic, “He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat: Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me: As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, or God is marching on.
We, as Catholics in Reno Nevada are dedicated to the proposition that God creates all men equal, that through the Eucharist he transfigures us. He dies in the words of consecration and enlivens himself in us. He died to make men holy. The 2012 Reno Diocesan Conference, a call to holiness informs us that “Holy” relates to marriage, with God as Abba/Father, the church as the Bride of Christ/God, and us as the children. “Nation” is a people born together, by shared heritage if not blood or place of birth. Christ died to make men Holy, One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. As Catholics, we look for leaders who will lead us to this standard.
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus, 1883 as quoted on the Statue of Liberty
For a hundred years, this was our standard. The other nations did say, “What great nation has customs and traditions that are as just as these words. A Catholic voters guide for Reno Nevada, part 2 reminds us that the correct direction is very near to us. It is in our hearts, we have only to look with our hearts. Deuteronomy 5:15, part of the Ten Commandments tells us, “Remember that you too were once menial laborers in the land of Egypt/Oppression/ Europe, and the Personal Name, your Almighty Judge, brought you out from there with a strong hand and outstretched arm.”
Our Gettysburg address told us, “Eleven score and sixteen years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal… It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Our standard is to remember what it was like to be immigrants, many not speaking English, hated by those who came before. We need to again dedicate ourselves to the proposition that all people, rich men and poor men, black people, and white people, those enslaved by poverty, and those enslaved by wealth, Hispanic and Native American, are all people, equal before Almighty God. As we vote, we need to dedicate ourselves to the proposition that we need a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.