I had the pleasure to meet Archbishop Joseph Naumann briefly during the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference in Kansas City, KS.
This interview with him, published in the Catholic World Report, has some very interesting comments about the fight for religious liberty, social justice, the principle of subsidiarity and personal virtue.
Social justice doesn’t mean the state taking care of everybody, but empowering people so they can take care of themselves and their families. That’s the real dignity we want to help people achieve.
I so agree with this. We have so many problems to address in our society, but in my belief, very very few of them must be solved by the government, the least effective means of solving any problem.
Does the state have some role to play with the poor? Absolutely, I think, in terms of a safety net. But that doesn’t mean that we keep increasing the number of people who are dependent on the state in some way. That, to me, is the direction we’ve been going for the last 50 years.
When the government purposely strives to have the majority of its people dependent on it for food, health care, etc., it is subverting the true meaning of that wonderful phrase from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.