Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Bishops issued a landmark 99-page pastoral letter entitled Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy. Today, with a record number of people suffering in a flailing economy, the letter’s call to promote human dignity in economic, policy and individual actions is as relevant as ever.
We believe that each person has a right to access the basic necessities of life. We advocate for food and income security for all—especially children and the elderly. We believe in policies for decent housing and shelter, especially for farm workers. We support access to basic health care for all. We advocate for employment and promote the idea of fair wages and fair taxes. We oppose unjust discrimination, racism, torture and human trafficking.
During the next few weeks, the California legislature will focus on the state budget. With a supermajority, California Democrats will be in full control of the process but it is unlikely to be smooth sailing for them.
State tax revenue is coming in significantly below projections. A recently enacted gas tax increase has put some Democrats on the hot seat. Even within the Democratic Party business interests have helped elect more “moderate” Democrats who do not always have the same priorities as the state party.
(En Español) During this week of Mother’s Day celebrations in the United States and Mexico, the enduring bonds of family will light up social media, overload telephone lines, and overflow many dining tables as children text, call, FaceTime, present home-made cards, feast, offer bouquets, and thank their mothers for their lifetime of labor and love. The wisdom of the fourth commandment, to honor thy father and mother, is on display as children use all means of transportation and communication to be close to the ones who gave them life.
“Be attentive to the needs of the poor, the suffering, the lonely, for whoever has chosen to love Jesus cannot but love his neighbor.”
-Pope Francis, December 18, 2014
The word ‘cultivate’ calls to mind the care which the farmer has for his land in order that it bear fruits and that they be shared: how much passion, how much attention, how much dedication in all that this demands! That familiar relationship is formed and the earth becomes “sister” earth. -Pope Francis, January 31, 2015
Sacramento, CA - (En Español) Today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season, a time when Christian people devote ourselves more intentionally to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy in an earnest effort to reform our lives in the image of Jesus Christ.
Homily Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 4, 2016
By Gerald D. Coleman, P.S.S.
In Weed the People, the author argues that “America is changing its mind about marijuana. For the past 80 years we’ve treated it as a ruinously dangerous drug, a public health menace, an addictive and illegal scourge. This is changing, and more quickly than many of us once thought possible. At the end of 2014 the U.S. reached a tipping point: for the first time ever, a majority of Americans lived in states with some form of marijuana legality.”
The public perception of marijuana has been steadily shifting over the past decade. Gallup polls in the early 2000s found that about one-third of Americans favored legalization. That climbed to 44% in 2009, 48% in 2012, and 58% in 2013. A major factor behind this surge was the growing approbation of medical marijuana. By 2013 medical marijuana use was seen as helpful and safe. Seventy-seven percent of Americans believed marijuana had legitimate medical uses and 83% thought doctors should be able to prescribe limited amounts for patients with serious illnesses.
One moment crystallized the nation’s new openness to marijuana when on August 8, 2013 CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, publicly changed his mind on the positive effects of medical marijuana. Gupta said that he “mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance because of sound scientific proof. In fact, the DEA had no such proof. Though government continued to deny it, marijuana has very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.”
The doctor-prescribed use of medical marijuana has led to the worrisome assumption that the recreational use of marijuana enjoys the same level of safety and oversight. This conjecture has led to an increasing number of states to legalize or hope to legalize the use of marijuana for reactional purposes.
This assumption needs careful critique.