How should a government be judged?

Yesterday on Facebook a friend of mine–we met in seminary but neither became a priest–posted a snarky comment by Stephen Colbert about how Americans either had forgotten their Judeo-Christian values or else decided they weren’t going to honor them. It seemed clear to me that this was a critique of conservative social polices. I responded by saying, "He’s talking like the government is a (poor) disciple, but Jesus called us to care for one another.

Granted, we are citizens in a democratic republic and have political responsibilities. I take mine seriously. But I don’t like the suggestion that if I am a believer, I should vote only for people who care for the poor only with money collected from other people!

Is that wrong? (I’m not against a social safety net, but no matter how strong it might be, I am still called to love and help my neighbor, be just in all my dealings, truthful and so on.)

(I was raised Southern Baptist, so I never heard of “social justice.” Now, as a Catholic, I have, but it’s not an area in which I’m well versed.)

For what it is worth, I agree with you brother. I wouldn’t worry too much. There are some here that like to obsess with Church teaching on politics, but you can find theologians on both sides of many issues (with the exception of something like abortion, birth control, etc.). So I don’t let any of these busy-bodies try to tell me how to vote, as long as I’m voting (or as the case may be, not voting) with a well-informed Christ-centric conscience, they better just shut up and deal with it.

I’m not THAT worried, but it is a question worth pondering: how should a government be judged? Obviously, that abortion is legal is a travesty and I’m never much bothered who think it’s okay to kill unborn children but that not supporting same-sex marriage is a travesty of justice…

How about you post Colbert’s comments so we can know what you’re talking about.

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