Before I get started on my Sunday Service topic, I want to share something with you. A friend of mine wrote a meditation, of sorts, on joy and St. Francis of Assisi. I found it very moving and want to share it with you. It is Lord, Make Me Instrument of Thine Peace. I think it’s appropriate for the rest of the post, anyway, considering what St. Francis had to say about wealth and economic justice in his time.
Today I participated in a discussion about justice, particularly economic justice. I want to share some of my thoughts on economic justice with you.
- We live in a capitalist, democratic society.
- Wealth that is justly acquired (no ethical, moral, or legal principles were broken in its amassing) is the property of the person who acquired it.
- Some people are unable to amass the same amount of wealth as others.
- Society has a duty to help those who cannot help themselves. Everyone has basic human rights to food, water and shelter. In modern society, everyone also has a right to education and healthcare. Society must provide these basic rights to those who cannot obtain them on their own.
- Individuals and groups of individuals acting independently (charities) are incapable of meeting the needs of everyone.
- Government, acting according to numbers 1 and 2, has a duty to provide for the basic needs of those who cannot provide for themselves.
- This takes the form of taxes and these taxes pay for food stamps, welfare, healthcare, education, and more. These services are often provided to society as a whole, especially the last two, education and healthcare.
- Equality of opportunity is not the same as equality of outcome. Every child deserves the same chance as every other child, but adults are not guaranteed to have the same goods as every other adult.
What are your thoughts on justice? On economic justice? Please share, if you are comfortable, in the comments.
- Social Finance and Economic Justice (socialfinance.ca)