The article A Catholic voters guide for Reno Nevada, part 1 argues, all must begin with the love of God first, and respect for his property, in particular other human beings. Part 4 starts to focus upon the qualifications of a leader; he must come from among us. We must focus upon what the leader’s role is. This will be the guide for Catholic voters in Reno Nevada.
Psalm 72 begins, “לִשְׁלֹמֹה,’ ‘To Solomon,” and ends, “The prayers of David… are ended.” In Psalm 72 King David asks God for King Solomon, “Give the king what comes from your lips/שְׁפְּט, your charity unto the king’s son (Solomon); to judge your people in charity…
May he give from your lips/שְׁפְּטto the poor of the people, and save the children of the needy, crushing the oppressor… He delivers the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him who has no helper. He will have pity on the poor and needy, the animate being of the needy he saves…”
Psalm 82 also addresses the issue as Asaph castigates the rulers of his day, “God אֱלֹהִיםstands in the congregation of אֵל, the judges. “וּפְנֵי רְשָׁעִים, תִּשְׂאוּ-סֶלָה עַד-מָתַי תִּשְׁפְּטוּ-עָוֶל” “How long will you judge unjustly, and respect the persons of the Russia?” Rosh of Rosh Hashanah comes from the same root as Russia and means the first. He is every person who thinks himself first, more deserving than his peers. Verse six begs, “אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם” “Gods/judges, you are.” The address is to the leadership. Verse seven, explicitly refers to them as princes.
Psalms 72 and Psalms 82 tell us, the role of the king is to help the poor. Matthew 25:31– 26:1. “When the Son of Man comes… he will sit upon his weighty throne, and all the nations/ethnos will be assembled before him.” The address is to nations. Matthew 26:1 is the start of the Passion. “As you do to the least of these my brothers, you do it to me.” Matthew 26:1 shows what they do to Jesus. As we as a nation treat our poorest citizens, we do it to God.
In Genesis 4:10 “God said, ‘The voice of my blood/דְמ of your brother cries to Me from the ground. Genesis 1:26 argues, “We make man in the shalom/image and in our blood/likeness.” The Hebrew word for likeness is feminine plural form for blood. As we treat our neighbor, we treat the image of God in our neighbor.
“All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Life, the foundation of what government is all about is a sacred construct. The lines of church and state can and must cross. The role of government includes the promotion of life. As we look for leaders for whom to vote we must support leaders who will pursue life, life lived in the likeness of God, from conception until natural death for all people.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…”
“We the People 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…”
“That government is best which governs least.” On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau 1849
There is a problem with “That government is best which governs least.” The quote, attributed to Thomas Jefferson, comes from Thoreau. “Least” is a relative term. “The least” is less than, “the more.” “The least government to do what?” Anarchists, Capitalists, and Communists believe that the least government is no government at all. The premise is, human beings are good, needing no regulation.
Socialists believe all men are bad and need governed. Forget the little problem that John Locke points out in his Second Treaty on Government, all men are kings in the state of nature, but, no man is a fair judge in his own case, and that includes the king. We might add the corporate CEO, and Union Chief. John Locke and Catholics believe that all men are created in the Image and Likeness of Almighty God, this makes men good by nature. Men also have Original Sin, making them by nature bad. All men are both, good and bad.
All people agree that government, which governs least, governs best. This is a grand way of saying government needs to be efficient. To argue against efficiency is to argue for waste. Nobody argues for waste. The argument is therefore a platitude, which on its own sounds great, but means nothing.
Augustine says it well, agreeing with John Locke, “For every man seeks peace by waging war, but no man seeks war by making peace. They who intentionally interrupt the peace in which they are living have no hatred of peace, but only wish it changed into a peace that suits them better. They do not wish to have no peace, but only one more to their mind.”
“What is the proper role of government?” “What is the least, most efficient, government?” Americans, and Catholics agree with our Declaration of Independence and Preamble to the Constitution quoted above, along with the words of John Locke. Governments are instituted among men endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We form governments to 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.
As we look for leaders for our country, let us look for leaders who are aware that we are all imperfect human beings. That is why our government has clearly defined executive, legislative (in two houses) and judicial branches. We realize that all want to do well, but are imperfect, needing regulation. We look for leaders who will lead us to the general welfare, domestic tranquility, and the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity. As Catholics in Reno Nevada, we look for leaders who will strive to treat all as equals, in pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. A greater voter’s guide no man can write.